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(2,946 words)

Author(s): Gieselmann, Martin
In its journey around the world, film reached China at the end of the 19th century. The first documented screening of the "electrical shadows" ( dianying), as movies are still called today, occurred in Shanghai in 1896. In its early period, it was above all the Beijing opera which made use of motion pictures in order to document its classical theater productions. Chinese cinema really began in 1916 when Zhang Shichuan's Wronged Souls in an Opium Den ( Heiji yuanhun) flickered across the big screen. The earliest Chinese movie still in existence is Romance of a Fruitpeddler ( Laogong zhi aiqinq,…