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Hu Ping

Qin, XIqing

From 1931 to 1937, Hu Ping was a well-known left-wing film star and film critic (“Progressive Star”). Her abrupt withdrawal from the film industry in 1937, after the Chinese-Japanese War in Shanghai (also known as the “8.13 Incident”), led to repeated mentions in the wartime and post-war press about her, most of which portrayed her as a “fallen” actress. Among various queries about her possible whereabouts was one brief, positive review entitled “Thinking of Hu Ping,” which recalled her as a talented young actress active before the war, and noted that “since the anti-Japanese war ended successfully, most of the actors and actresses returned except the versatile Hu Ping. It’s so puzzling why nothing is heard about her” (Xiangshui). As a film star with a close connection to the Chinese left-wing cinema movement, Hu Ping is not completely forgotten today and is mentioned several times in Chinese Film Development History, the most widely read film history textbook in China, first published in 1963. The book credits her as an actress in more than a dozen silent and sound films and as the scenario writer of A Tragic TaleAbout My Sister/姊妹的悲剧 (1933), and notes her involvement with the League of Chinese Left-Wing Dramatists (Cheng et al. 185, 244, 272, 297). However, at the same time, Hu remains an obscure figure who, due to a lack of information about her, rarely attracts focused or in-depth scholarly attention today, except for the occasional journalistic interest in her (e.g., Ge 2007). Thus, in order to trace the contours of Hu’s film and journalistic career, this profile uses Chinese periodicals from the 1930s and 1940s, memoirs by contemporary playwrights and writers, Chinese Film Development History, and online sources as its main references.

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Academic Units
Film
Libraries
Series
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
February 1, 2021