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This movie is based on Ruthanne Lum McCunn’s 1981 true-story book of the same name, follows the story of a young Chinese woman, Lalu , brought to the United States in the 19th century by a “wife trader” and sold as a wife to an unscrupulous saloon owner. Lalu attempts to earn the money to buy her freedom and return to China. It truly depicts the trials and tribulations a Chinese immigrant went through in the days of old. In addition, it allows those of Chinese descent to recognized the efforts their ancestors made in order that they might appreciate their place in society today. It reflected the life of Asian people how they survive in Golden Mountain. American laws deny Chinese men citizenship – they are wanted mostly for cheap labor – and women are viewed as even more insignificant. The story portrays a beautiful young Chinese woman, Lalu, born in China where girl babies were not highly valued, and sold by her father to a Chinese “wife-trader” by her destitute father. Then her struggle to survive began at that moment.and auctioned off in San Francisco to a mule skinner, Li Po, who purchases her for a saloon keeper, Hong King, another Chinese man, who runs a saloon in a dismal backwater settlement in a mining town. During their journey, Jim reveals that he wants to do is save enough money to get back to China. It also becomes apparent that he is developing some affection for Lalu. She and the mule skinner fall in love on the way to their destination, but he delivers her to the saloon keeper nonetheless K.. Hong King plans to make a bundle of money by forcing her into prostitution. Standing up for herself for the first time, Lalu violently refuses, though she agrees to remain his personal slave. Lalu, nicknamed “China Polly” by the cowboys, is saved from prostitution but then becomes Hong King’s slave, until her husband’s white partner, a genial alcoholic named Charlie, explains to her that slavery has been outlawed. And if she ever wants to get back to China she’ll have to become aggressively independent and earn her own way.

Charlie, a good man is attracted to Lalu -”Polly,” but she dreams only of buying her freedom and returning to China. Then Hong King, short of funds and tired of living with a “hellcat,” decides to auction his wife to the highest bidder – and Charlie, in a rare stroke of luck, wins her. She lives with him, but in chastity. Meanwhile, Jim whose conscience has been bothering him, returns to the mining camp with enough money to buy Lalu’s freedom. He hopes to marry her and take her back to China, but, seeing her living with a white man, he considers her hopelessly damaged and abandons his plans. I gather that this development, like most of the film, is based on fact, but as a consequence “1000 Pieces of Gold” paints an overwhelmingly negative portrait of men – from the father who betrays her, to the trader who sells her, to the saloon keeper who wants to prostitute her. The only man portrayed positively in the film is Charlie. The story is told with power and high drama, however, and the love that grows between Lalu and Charlie, like all loves that smoulder for a long time, becomes a great passion. Fortunately, she met the man of her life who she could rely on. 1000 Pieces of Gold, set in the 19th century and telling the story of a Chinese woman sold from man to man as if she were property. The film is based on the little-known fact that years after slavery was abolished in America, Asians were still held in involuntary slavery – sometimes by their own people. This low-key, old-fashioned film is “a testament to the strength of


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