Believed lost until a near-pristine tinted print was discovered in Uruguay (!) in 1994, this epic-length melodrama is something of a revelation: a sophisticated account of love as the force most likely to upset a 'well ordered' society. The legendary Ruan Lingyu (21 at the time) plays a woman from adolescence to old age and doubles as the character's teenage daughter in the climactic scenes. Nai-Fan marries on the orders of her stern, traditional father and gives her rich, boring husband two children; but she runs away to be with the struggling writer she really loves, only to face a life of disappointment, hardship and poverty. Recent (1997) screenings confirm the film's lasting power to move audiences - and to make them laugh, thanks to the witty sketch of a shy courtship and the dream-sequence parody of a Douglas Fairbanks movie.