Film 213 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1919’s “Broken Blossoms”. Or to give it it’s full title (which I’m not happy putting in but I have to for reasons you’ll find out as you read this) “Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl”. This D.W. Griffith silent romantic drama is about a young girl who is abused by her alcoholic prizefighting father and meets Cheng Huan, a kind-hearted Chinese man who falls in love with her. Well… We’re already off to a bad start. And before I start I want to apologise to any/All Chinese people who read this review. Yes, this film refers Chinese people as “Yellow Men”. It gets worst as it says people in “The Limehouse District” of London call Chinese people “chinks”. It doesn’t help that there is no sound at all. Nothing!!! Not even any background music you usually expect with silent films. Don’t think my song choices on Spotify were helping with songs by Rammstein, The Osmonds and “Desperado” by The Eagles. Let’s just say, that five minutes into this film, I knew I was screwed trying to figure out what was going on. The onscreen text doesn’t help either. Who is Fantan? Why is Battling Burrow an alcoholic who abuses his daughter? Why does Burrow’s boxing manager live with them? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? None of these questions were answered! I can’t recommend this film. It’s racist to Chinese people. The plot makes no sense and my head hurts. Fun Fact of the Film – “Broken Blossoms” was the first movie to be released by United Artists, of which D.W. Griffith was a founder. On that note, if you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1919’s “Broken Blossoms”
Year – 1919
Director – D.W. Griffith
Written by – Thomas Burke, D.W. Griffith
Staring – Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp
IMDb Rating – 7.7/10
My Rating – RACIST PILE OF CRAP
Length – 88 min (1h 28min)
Genre – Drama, Romance
We open with reading
At a dock, people are working
This is a legit silent film! Here is no noise at all in this film
A Chinese family get their fortune told
A group of American sailors are getting drunk on tea
At The Temple of Buddha, two men chat
He really likes those beads
Ding…. Ding….. Ding
Time to pray to Buddha
Can we stop calling the Chinese “Yellow People”
Back with the sailors and they leave
A Chinese man tells the sailors about Buddha
How can you shrink in horror?
I have no idea who anyone is
I also have no idea what’s happening
All I know is that this film is racist to Chinese people
At least the music I’m playing (since there is no sound) is good enough
In the Limehouse District in London
It just got work – Now the Chinese are referred as “Chinks”
Meanwhile, a woman sit around a group of Chinese musicians and smokes weed with Indians
Want to touch my wood…. en table?
13 minutes of nothing has happened
Are they playing poker with pills?
Now I’m on a boat – Where’s T-Pain when I need him?
At Lucy & Battling Burrow’s home
Burrow is “an abysmal brute” and a drunk
Is this a flashback to Battling Burrow’s boxing days?
Well… Burrow won in about 4 seconds
Lucy arrives home…. and Burrow gets creepy
Wait… Burrow’s boxing manager lives with them?
My head hurts
FUCK IT I QUIT