Pan Si Dong, or “The Cave of the Silken Web”, was found in The National Library of Norway’s film archives in 2011. The film is based on the story “Journey to the West,” one of China’s four great classic novels. After a process of restoration the film was finally ready to be handed over to China Film Archive (CFA) on Tuesday.
Prior to the handover ceremony, a symposium was held at CFA with experts on film history and film restoration. Participating from Norway was Roger Jøsevold, acting national librarian, and Tina Anckarman, film archivist, both from The National Library of Norway. The symposium gave valuable insight into the history of Pan Si Dong and early Chinese film history.
The silent movie was considered forever lost in China, and deputy director Sun Xianghui expressed great sentiment and gratitude towards the Norwegian National Library for bringing it back in her speech at the ceremony. Roger Jøsevold responded in his speech that preserving and returning cultural heritage material was a global mission that they were happy to be part of.
The handover ceremony took place at a reception at CFA, with a great crowd of film enthusiasts attending. Among them was the successful actor Liu Xiao Ling Tong, famous for his role as the monkey king in a later version of “Journey to the West”.
The screening took place in CFA’s cinema, where all 600 seats were sold out. The gifted pianist Jin Ye played live music to accompany the film. The film lasted for an hour, and received great applause and cheer from the audience at the end.