Transcript: China in The 1920's | Apr 12, 1988

The opening slate of a black screen appears with a title that reads “Retrospect: China in the 1920’s.”

A black and white picture of a Chinese temple with cows carrying large baskets on their back being led by an indistinguishable person wearing white. A Chinese character-type font reads “China the Ancient.”

Another screen appears and a caption reads “Let us pause for a few moments at the gate of any City in China today.”

The caption changes to “And view the ever-changing stream of traffic that passes through the City gate from dawn till dark.”

A black and white scene of a Chinese city center with a small tunnel shows people walking around.

The caption appears on screen and reads “Here is the ever present rickshaw. The oriental taxi.”

The black and white scene appears with more people walking and a wooden, hooded wagon being pulled by a person.

A caption reads “The springless Pekin cart. Recommended for a ´rattling´ good ride.”

The wagon continues to be pulled through the scene.

A caption reads “A traveling barber hesitates, to greet us between shaves.”

The barber appears on screen. He is in his twenties, has short dark black hair, and wears a long robe. He carries two buckets of water on his back balanced on a wooden pole.

Another clip appears of an even larger wooden wagon transporting grains and led by horses.

A caption reads “Transporation via the wheelbarrow route.”

The black and white scene continues on with people walking through the street and more wheelbarrows going by.

A caption reads “Enter the donkey-barrow.”

A donkey pulls a small wooden wagon holding food and being guided by a man wearing a robe.

A caption reads “As there are no reins on the animal, the driver has very little control over his steed and it is often a case of ‘follow my donkey.’.”

Several more men being pulled by donkeys pass down the street.

A caption reads “Make way for a local Mandarin and his personal bodyguard.”

Men in their twenties wearing beige uniforms walk across a bridge and are followed by two men in darker uniforms on horses and then two separate buggies and white horses.

A caption reads “China is an agricultural nation and the methods used to conserve the elements of the soil are still primitive.”

Six men struggle to pull a farming device over the dirt on a farm.

A caption reads “The Chinese farmer is perhaps the hardest worked man on earth.”

The six men continue to plow through the dirt.

A caption reads “This ploughman has a style of his own.”

The six men turn the device around and walk back up the field continuing to plow. One man walks behind to guide.

A caption reads “Incredible is the amount of heart breaking labour necessary to irrigate the land.”

The caption changes to “Day and night unceasingly these wells must be operated.”

Two people appear turning a pulley device that lifts the buckets of water up and turns them into the irrigation system. They lower the bucket back into the well.

A caption reads “Three persons to each well, one taking his period of rest in the hut at the rear.”

The two women continue to dump water into the irrigation trenches.

A caption reads “These two women are totally blind.”

The women continue to dump water.

A caption reads “If you are wealthy enough, your mule may do your irrigating.”

A mule attached to a wheel walks in circles, spinning the wheel to pump water into the trenches.

A caption reads “A prosperous farmer it is that owns his own mill.”

A man guides a mule around the wheel in order to grind wheat.

A caption reads “Grinding wheat into flour.”

The man continues to follow the mule and pushes the grains into the center of the wheel so they don’t fall.

The caption changes to “Another method used for millet.”

Another mule appears on screen walking around a wheel that grinds millet.

A sitting woman grinds millet into a basket.

A caption reads “The wind aids this woman to winnow her scant crop of millet.”

A woman scoops the millet up with a shovel, tossing it into the air, and lets it blow into the wind to spread.

A caption reads “One of China’s millions exterminating some of China’s other millions.”

An emaciated man appears on screen with no shirt on, short brown hair, and dark bags under his eyes sits and sews a robe.

A caption reads “One of the multitude of professional beggars who overrun the country.”

The hairless, thin man continues to sit and scratch his back.

A caption reads “All dressed up for the party.”

A little girl with wearing a headpiece moves her hips forward and backward. She wears a little light-colored dress.

A caption reads “And a bow (or a bob) for the cinematographer.”

The little girl bows to the camera repeatedly.

A caption reads “Hello! Look who’s here!”

A little boy with a large light-colored wool toboggan, dark colored vest, and thick floral robe runs to the foreground.

A caption reads “After such an appeal how could we refuse him a penny for lollypops?”

The little boy clasps his hands together and cups them as if to ask for something and smiles.

The ending slate appears on screen and the caption reads “Retrospect: China in the 1920’s, material courtesy of National Film Archives, Ottawa.”

Another slate appears that reads “A Production of TVOntario. Copyright The Ontario Educational Communications Authority 1979.”

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