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Spring In A Small Town Review

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The once wealthy Dai family finds itself brought low in the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War. Sickly patriarch Liyan (Shi Yu) suffers with his wife Yuwen (Wei Wei) in a loveless marriage, while his young sister plays in the ruins of their home. Into this combustible mix comes a Shanghai doctor - an old flame of Yuwen's...

★★★★

Capturing the anguished exhaustion of a nation recovering from war and uncertain about its future, this masterly 1948 Chekhovian noir is both delicate and devastating as it chronicles the unrequited passion between a reluctantly dutiful wife (Wei Wei) and her dashing first love (Li Wei).

Practically smuggled out on release in China, this lovelorn drama deserves its chance to shine again.