Fan Xuepeng was a luminous Chinese film star through the silent era and into the sound era. She was perhaps most famous for her performance as knightly female characters in martial arts films from the late 1920s to the early 1930s. Later she became a regular on Chinese screens, often portraying mothers and was given the nickname “the popular mother.” Far less known, however, was her contribution to the film industry through setting up Qianghua Film Company and working as a producer, special effects designer, and recording engineer in different periods of her life. To explore her film career and to highlight how her work in the industry went beyond just acting, this profile uses Chinese newspapers and magazines from the 1930s and Fan’s own memoirs as the main references.
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