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Monica's tragic role
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Shanghai of the 1930s and 1940s is a popular backdrop for film and TV productions.

In the latest project to feature the city of that period, Monica Chan, Miss Hong Kong 1989, will portray a famous Shanghai film star whose tragic life is parallel to that of Ruan Lingyu, in her latest TV drama Pear Flowers in the Storm.

The 40-episode series, which is helmed by veteran Hong Kong director Wong Jing and also stars Kristy Yeung, is steeped in the rich nostalgia of old Shanghai, once called the "Adventurers' Paradise."

Monica Chan (photo: Shanghai Daily)

The storyline is about five young women's struggles to attain stardom in the entertainment industry. It will be aired on the local Film and Drama Channel from Thursday.

"For the first time I play a film star who loves the wrong person and commits suicide after she is raped by a Japanese captain," Chan said.

Ruan, one of the most famous actresses in China, killed herself in 1935 after she became involved in a bigamy suit.

(Shanghai Daily January 28, 2008)

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