Title ID 7092Collection ID960
Title[Canton; The Lion Steamer and Friends]
Date[ca. 1929]
CollectionSimpson Family
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemeWorking Life Rural Life Travel
KeywordsBoats Buildings Children Clothing Communities Ethnic Groups Family Men Rural Areas Social Class Transport Travel Workers
NationalChina Asia
ProductionWilliam G. Simpson Charlotte L. Simpson
CameraWilliam G. Simpson; Charlotte L. Simpson
FormatBlack & White Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This film follows Mrs Simpson boarding a steamer, touring the rural countryside and visiting the bustling city of Canton with friends.


The film opens with scenes of a man leaning on a balcony reading a magazine or brochure, followed by shots of Mrs Simpson (wearing a shirt, tie and jacket) and a man aboard a steamer.

The next scenes show high angle shots of a bustling Canton, with densely packed housing next to a busy river. Steam ships and smaller domestic boats move about on the water. Further shots follow from a high vantage point above the city, capturing panoramas of the buildings and streets below. At street level, the camera views a quiet street with buildings either side, packed tightly together. Shop signage hangs over the street.

On a rural hillside, a Chinese woman in a flat-skirted rural workers hat (?) collects branches and a group of adults and children walk together on a rural road with umbrellas and baskets, dressed in traditional Chinese two-piece suits.

The next section opens with a busy street scene where groups of people stand talking in groups, as traffic and others pass by and brief mixed shots of a car journey through a wooded rural area, filmed from a moving vehicle.

The final scene is of a bay or river (Canton) where several boats pass by and a group of sailors haul cargo on to a larger boat from the water. On the same boat Mrs Simpson, dressed in an elegant fur coat, waves at the camera from the deck.


a still from [Canton; The Lion Steamer and Friends] (ca.1929)