The New Film Movement on social issues was in vogue in early 1930s. Most of the works on social issues courageously exposed the most grim and pressing problems confronting the Chinese society. Screenwriters and directors stepped out of the narrow confines of trifles and family ethics, and turned their eyes on the Chinese society at large and tried to reflect the grim social problems waiting to be solved.
Three Modern Girls, written by Tian Han and directed by Pu Wancang, was the representative of the movement. The film depicts a young man and three modern girls choosing varied lives indicating the relations between the age and personal fates. When launched in 1933, the film won full of applauses.
Later Xia Yan, Sun Yu, Cai Chusheng, Shen Xiling, Wu Yonggang and Yuan Muzhi created a batch of films combining their anxiety about the society, their concerns about the masses and their origination in arts, such as Broad Road, The Goddess, Street Angel and Crossroads.
Although lasting only a few years from early 1930s to 1937, the New Film Movement was an important event in the film history. The screenwriting, directing, performance, photography, art design and sound recording in those films all reached a new height in the development of Chinese cinema.
(chinaculture.org January 18, 2004)