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The Goddess, 1934, China


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Congratulations to TCM for showing The Goddess. It's curious that an almost 80 year old movie made in Shanghai could make such a persuasive plea for understanding, tolerance, and possibly decriminalization of prostitution. This silent movie is as important today as it was then showing that prostitutes have no legal protection from violence and exploitation. As a movie, it's skillfully composed with good editing, sophisticated camera shots, and well acted with a coherent and well-paced narrative.

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I just saw this movie on TCM On Demand. What a heartbreaking and beautiful film. I believe the lead actress deserved to be known as the Chinese Garbo, and in fact, her natural and sensitive performance exceeds many of Garbo's. Unlike many silent films, this one was beautifully underplayed, and the subtle piano score helped. This is one of the few films Cousins raved about that I agree on.

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