An abused waifish woman finds solace in the arms of an immigrant to tragic consequences in Broken Blossoms; part of our Live Sound Cinema Vamps and Virgins series featuring a live score by Gersh/Reed.
Before the Jazz Age, it was the dark ages for women. In D. W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms Lillian Gish plays a girl living in poverty with a violent and abusive father. Seemingly her only escape is the questionable freedom of a life of prostitution or the squalor and slavery is in the form of a loveless marriage. She discovers a middle path through a chance meeting with an outsider: Cheng, a Chinese immigrant shopkeeper. But she is a white, virginal and underage. Their relationship is impossible in the time and place they live. There love is an illicit and tragic but because of this it is also transcendent and beautiful.