Film Analysis: Crows and Sparrows:

Film Analysis: Crows and Sparrows:


The film was set in China based on the country’s historical background to communist victory. It was produced on the dawn of the Communist victory by Kunlun Studios. Zheng Junli directed the artistic work. It captures the events that led to the Chinese Civil War and the collapse of the corrupt Nationalist bureaucrats led by Chiang Kai-shek’s Nanjing government (Wang, 82). The main characters in the movie are Zhao Dan (Mr. Xiao), Sun Daolin (Teacher Hua), Shangguan Yunzhu (Mrs. Hua) and Wu Yin (Mrs. Xiao) who take the primary roles. Other characters are Li Tianji Mr. Hou (KMT Official), Huang Zongying Mrs. Hou (Yu Xiaoping, and Wei Heling Kong Youwen (Old Mr. Kong).

Crows and Sparrows portrays the battle between the occupants of a Shanghai path house and their landowner Hou Yibo, who is a corrupt and powerful authority. He seized the house from its actual proprietor and attempted to offer it before he escaped the approaching Communist powers. It included Zhao Dan, one of the best-known and most mainstream performing artists of the day. It is normally recorded among China’s best movies (Zheng Juhn & Perf, 46). The film offers great gathering acting, with amusement and drama and moves at a considerably speedier pace than most prior films. As the inhabitants attempt to bargain with the lodging issues, they face issues such as expulsion. Additionally with the political tumult around them, their characters are uncovered, alongside the defilement of the diminishing Nationalist government.

One of the inhabitants, Hua Haozhi, is depicted as a feeble and having some degree of cowardice. Two associates at the school where he instructs have been captured for political reasons, yet he is apprehensive to sign a request of dissenting their unlawful confinement. Without a doubt does it were at the point when educators that are more dynamic backed him into a tough situation. In spite of the fact that he tries to curry support with the new primary and present himself as objective, school authorities misread his activities and suspect him of being the instigator of workforce protests (Zheng Juhn & Perf, 49). At the point when the school summon the police, they touch base on grounds in a huge dark van, with sirens booming, and they surge out wearing uproar apparatus to round up suspected troublemakers. Hua is generally captured, and with glasses and outfit to one side, he is dragged down the school passages and pushed into the police van alongside alternate instructors.

From the movie, it can be noted that it based on the vices attributed to the Nationalist government whereby its officials were corrupt. Further, the film presented a form of oppression of the citizens by the people in power (Paul & Pickowicz, 23). Therefore, the main ideas in the movie are; corruption, the revolution against the government and access to freedom from corruption or gaining of liberty for the Chinese people. These elements of the production are seen through the activities of the characters and how they had manifested in the Chinese society. Crows and Sparrows introduces a genuinely alarming picture of the government shown by the police way of exercising their power. This film ideological content offers one of the most keen and most open assaults on the ruling system found in any Chinese film during that era. Shot in the last days ago of the Nationalist government which were chaotic, against the vices depicted by the government, it was released upon Communist triumph and may in this manner be viewed as “transitional” instead of a genuinely pre-1949 film. But since generation started amid the Republican time frame, its performers and chiefs were notable.

Background of film director

Zheng Junli lived in both nationalist and communist era. He was faced with various challenges of adjusting himself to politically and cultural lifestyle. Earlier, he would move with no hesitation between settlements controlled by foreigners in Shanghai and space controlled by the ruling government. During nationalist era, the director with other actors formed theatre troops that led resistance to this era (Paul, 23). Upon Japanese invasion and takeover in 1937, he left shanghai the following year and settled in Chongqing where he worked others for the national government. His resistance to the war torn Nationalist era is evident when he is the director of Kunlun Film Studio where he made movies that poorly depicted the ruling government capabilities among them crow and sparrows. He is able to address the social injustices and conflicts among the citizens (Paul, 27).


Corruption manifests itself in many areas of the economy before the end of the communist revolution against the nationalist government (Wang, 83). Corruption is a vice that is inherent in most of the leaders in the offices. This involves the abuse of office power to oppress the citizens, housing shortage, massive inflation and the politically instigated arrests. Such issues affect the people and lead to the civil war, and the communists can take charge of the country as the KMT army is defeated and pushed away to Taiwan (Paul & Pickowicz, 36). The oppressed people regain their freedom and can go back to their normal life and own want is theirs. For example, the Old Mr. Kong regains the ownership of the building that Mr. Hou had taken from him without consent (Berry & Chris, 45). Mr. Hua is released, and the tenants come together on the eve of 1949 to celebrate the liberation that had gotten. This is portrayed through the use of comedic light whereby, the emphasis is put on the character and humanity at the same time maintaining the sensual gravity of the political environment and the social change.

Civil war

The production was done in the winter of 1948 when it was clear that the Communists were taking over the government. This was after the Chinese Civil War, and it was called the Liberation War. The movie reflects the confidence of the producer and his political optimism as the revolutionary war was ending. It was finished and completed in September 1949 after Shanghai was liberated (Wang, 83). The liberation can be seen in the internal life of a Shanghai building whereby there is a conflict between the tenants and the landlord. The tenant’s present people from various social profiles and their personal wars against Hou Yibo, the landlord. Mr. Hou is characterized as an evil landlord who forcefully takes the apartments from the old Mr. Kong. Mr. Hou abuses his power as KMT official by taking the apartment and wants to evict the tenants that lack a place to go (Berry & Chris, 37).

The main issue is that he intends to sell the apartment and not that the tenants have failed to pay him (Wang, 84). As the families panic and start making arrangements to evacuate the place, they go through a series of problems and eventually they do not succeed in their plans (Frere, 203). For example, Mr. Hua is arrested, and his wife is humiliated as his daughter falls sick. The Little Broadcast and his wife pawns on their valuable and intends to use the money to buy gold and go into the black market. This plan fails as the prices of the gold hikes and they have beaten up the Yellow Oxen Gang. The events that follow show a bright side for the tenants as Mr. Hua is freed from prison and Mr. Kong gets back his building as the KMT troops are defeated (Maque, 37). This is a new dawn for the Shanghai people as they get back their liberty and the tenants gather to celebrate.

From the analysis, the Chinese population gets political freedom and liberation from the Nationalist government (Berry & Chris, 43). The Communist takeover and there is a new start for the people. Further, it shows the oppression that was there before the end of the Chinese Civil War.


As per the decision, there is a political and social change as the Civil War ends. The producer portrays the struggle the people have with the local authorities to the problems of the tenants and the Shanghai residents and the powerful. There is exploitation and oppression of the inhabitants as the landlord wants to sell the building and leave the residents homeless. The movie is set on the at the dawn of the liberation of the Chinese from the Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalist government and sees the communist take power (Frere, 204)

Works Cited

Paul G. Pickowicz. China on FilmA Century of Exploration, Confrontation, and Controversy, 2013.

Paul: Chinese Cinema: Culture And Politics 2007.

Berry, Chris. Chinese Films in Focus Ii. BFI, 2014.

Zheng Juhn and Perf. Crows and Sparrows, 2009.

Frere. “The selfish sparrow and the houseless crows.” Old Deccan Days, 12 July 2013, pp. 203-205.

Maque. “Crows and Sparrows (Wuya Yu Maque).” HUIT Sites Hosting, Harvard University, 12 Sept. 2016, Accessed 15 Mar. 2017.

Wang. “Crows and Sparrows: Allegory on a Historical Threshold.” Chinese Films in Focus II, 5 Dec. 2013, pp. 82-89.

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