Shanghai, The Roaring Twenties
The History of Shanghai in the 20s and the 30s
Shanghai in the 20s and the 30s: money rules in this city open to all adventures and whose reputation attracts all the bold adventurers of the world. The opium trade is under the control of the Chinese triads, who run their operations from the foreign concessions. Du Yuesheng, the Godfather of the Green Gang rules the city.
Albert Londres, one of the most famous journalist of the time, who is in Shanghai in 1924 reports to his newspaper. In 1932, at the time when the power acquired by the triads became a threat to Westerners, the city is plunged into an armed conflict triggered by Japan, served as a curtain raiser for a new dispensation. Back in Shanghai to report on the ongoing upheavals, Albert Londres covers the conflict. His explosive investigation went up in smoke in the fire on the ocean liner bringing him back to France.
Following the lashing rise of Du Yuesheng in Shanghai, we embark on an exploration of the period when bankers and drug traffickers, inviting comparisons with prohibition Chicago, revolutionaries and nationalists made history – a period when the new ideas that would give birth to modern China were just emerging.
Unpublished Chinese archive materials, private archives, old feature films, period newspapers, police reports, diplomatic correspondence, journalism by Albert Londres and explorations of present-day Shanghai, sketch the portrait a world that continues to fascinate the West.
Movie directors : Anne Riegel, Olivier Horn
Duration : 01 h 23 min
Production date : 2009
Production : © Idéale Audience / Arte France