Daybreak 天明 (1933) 

Newly-arrived in Shanghai, naive country peasants Caltrop and her fiancé Zhang find factory jobs in hopes of making enough money to marry and live better lives. But when they encounter problems in the form of harassment, unemployment, and arduous new circumstances that force them apart for two years, a disillusioned Caltrop starts assisting the National Revolutionary Army by conducting espionage as it tears up the warlord class in its rampage northwards. Her resilience and fighting spirit shine brightly throughout this spectacular portrayal of love, hardship, perseverance, and patriotism as her country teeters on the brink of revolution.

Note: there are two versions of Daybreak on YouTube:

(1) (with English subtitles, but no soundtrack).

(2) (with a musical soundtrack, but no English subtitles).

As a suggestion, one can watch (1) in one tab of the browser, while playing the (2) soundtrack in another tab.


Come join Movie Chat Host Shireen Farrahi for a lively online movie discussion.

Watch the movie first at your convenience then join us at 7 PM Monday to discuss.

Film: Daybreak 天明 (1933) 1 hr. 37 mins. A silent film, with English subtitles.

Chat: Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, 7pm Cost to attend is free; please register here.

View the movie free on  Youtube [click here]

How it Works...

This program runs like a book club: you watch the selected film at your leisure, then join other participants on Zoom at 7pm on the 3rd or 4th Monday of the month to discuss. Discussion questions will be emailed to registrants a couple of days before the chat. Most movies are available free on or YouTube. Kanopy can be accessed through a web browser or an internet-connected t.v. A Kanopy login account requires a library card. Please watch the movie and then join us to discuss.

The Northwest China Council's Movie Night is a program to promote a better understanding of Chinese history, culture, and current affairs. Please consider supporting its programming at