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Recovered movies document Shanghai during liberation

Reporter: Xie Sisi 丨 CCTV.com

05-29-2014 00:33 BJT

Three hours of rare historical film footage has surfaced in Shanghai. The Shanghai Audio-visual Archive says much of the film was shot in 1949, the year the People's Republic of China was founded. The archives release the well-preserved colour film to mark the 65th anniversary of Shanghai's liberation.

It's May 27, 1949, and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) finally defeated the Kuomintang after a four year fight for Shanghai.

The Shanghai Audio-visual Archive release the well-preserved color film to mark the 65th anniversary of Shanghai

The Shanghai Audio-visual Archive releases the well-preserved color film to mark the 65th anniversary of Shanghai's liberation.

The Shanghai Audio-visual Archive release the well-preserved color film to mark the 65th anniversary of Shanghai

The Shanghai Audio-visual Archive releases the well-preserved color film to mark the 65th anniversary of Shanghai's liberation.

The valuable colour film documents old Shanghai as it was during the country's momentous historic turning point. The unknown photographers turned their cameras on the aftermath of bombing raids and the celebrations that inaugurated more than six decades of peace.

They also recorded workers in factories, small shops, prosperous markets, and in the background the cityscape of the day comes into focus.

The filmmakers even recorded the workday of former Shanghai mayor Chen Yi.

"The film reflects images of Shanghai at the time of liberation; the society of the city, its production and construction," said Wang Min, director of Planning Department of Shanghai Audio-visual Archive.

These images captured on October 14, 1949, show local Shanghai residents celebrating news of the liberation of the city of Guangzhou in south China.

Also released by the archives was a long-lost documentary detailing the Battle of Shanghai and its reconstruction after suffering years of aerial bombardment by the Kuomintang.

"We have three hours of film of Shanghai shot between 1949 and 1950. All of it is in colour and very well-preserved. This is a good resource for us to interpret what we see in these images," Wang said.

The Shanghai Audio-visual Archive has restored the original film footage and digitized into a video format for further study of life in China at the turn of an epoch.

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