UK Premiere: The Dragon Painter
The Dragon Painter c/o Kino Lorber.

UK Premiere: The Dragon Painter

classified 15 PS

Restored & Rediscovered


Sat 27 July 14:10

Cinema 1, Watershed

William Worthington
Sessue Hayakawa, Tsuru Aoki, Edward Peil Sr. New York premiere
61 mins, Partially Subtitled, 1919, USA
Primary language

Sessue Hayakawa (a Japanese-American actor probably most well-remembered by modern viewers as Colonel Saito in Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957)) was in his effervescent youth a major star of the silent cinema, and one of the most well-paid actors in early Hollywood.

Hayakawa plays Tatsu, a painter-turned-hermit living in the wilds of Japan who falls in love with Ume-ko (Tsuru Aoki). Yet, with his painting hailed as genius prior to marriage, he suddenly finds himself unable to paint once he’s found love.

Long considered lost, The Dragon Painter survives today as a tribute to Hayakawa’s talents and a shining example of Asian-American cinema, complete with a new score by Mas Koga.

This is a 4K digital restoration by San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Eye Filmmuseum, and George Eastman Museum; courtesy Milestone Films and Kino Lorber.

Presented in partnership with South West Silents.

Image title

With an introduction by author, critic and film historian Pamela Hutchinson.

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