Sole Island Movies refer to a batch
of movies made in Shanghai, an isolated region, after the Japanese invaded
In the 1930s, a group of filmmakers produced
an enormous number of commercial films in Shanghai implicating their anger,
including Shouts and Resistance under Cruel Japanese Oppression. Each
year an average of 60 movies were produced.
The barbarous invasion of the Japanese
imperialists into China after the September 18 Incident in 1931 aroused the
indignation of the Chinese people. As the national anthem says, "The people of
China are in a most critical time. Everyone must roar his defiance." Movies with
a spirit of fighting against imperialism and the Japanese aggression became the
sound of a bugle, loud and encouraging.
Judging from their content and ideological
features, fine movies about the fight against imperialism and Japanese
aggression can be divided into three stages. The first stage went from September
1931 to July 1937. Movies made during this stage mainly reflect the disasters
brought about by the invasion and the awakening of the Chinese people. The
screenwriters and directors concentrated their efforts on encouraging and
arousing the enthusiasm of people in the struggle against Japanese aggression.
A representative movie in the period is
Mulan Enlists in the Army, which tells the story about an ancient girl
Mulan. In the story, the smart but clumsy tomboy daughter of a once-great
general, disguises herself as a boy and enlists in the Chinese army to save her
ailing father. The film won acclaims and continued to play for 85 days.
Besides ancient-style movies, love movies,
comedies, dance movies, exploratory movies and ghost movies were also popular at
the time. Compared with the commercial movies produced in the 1920s, they were
more mature commercial filmmakers in China, and laid foundation and provided
reference for the later development of Chinese commercial movies.