Watch THOUSAND PIECES OF GOLD at Home and Support the Cinematheque

May 1, 2020 - 11:47am
Posted by Jim Healy

Dennis Dun & Rosalind Chao in THOUSAND PIECES OF GOLD

While the Cinematheque's free screenings at 4070 Vilas and the Chazen Museum of Art remain on indefinite hiatus during this challenging time, our programming staff will be offering a series of specially curated movies that can be viewed at home. A portion of the revenue from each rental will support the Cinematheque and our future programming efforts.

This week, in partnership with Kino Lorber, the Cinematheque is providing the opportunity here to view a new restoration of an exciting piece of American independent cinema history, Nancy Kelly's Thousand Pieces of Gold.

THOUSAND PIECES OF GOLD: Set in a mining town in the 1880s, Thousand Pieces of Gold is based on the classic novel by Ruthanne Lum McCunn with a screenplay by award-winning filmmaker Anne Makepeace (Tribal Justice). Upon its original release in 1990, the film won immediate acclaim for its portrayal of the real-life story of Lalu (Rosalind Chao), a young Chinese woman whose desperately poor parents sell her into slavery. She is trafficked to a nefarious saloonkeeper in Idaho's gold country. Eventually Charlie (Academy Award winner Chris Cooper), a man of different ilk, wins her in a poker game and slowly gains her trust. Way ahead of its time, the film resonates even more powerfully today in the era of #MeToo. Nancy Kelly became a victim of prejudice against women directors within the American film industry and was never offered another movie to direct in spite of extraordinary reviews from critics, some of whom compared her talent to that of John Ford.

Click here to read a rave review of Thousand Pieces of Gold from Madison's Rob Thomas of the Cap Times.

Nancy Kelly herself wrote this excellent Indiewire article about how industry sexism halted her career after Thousand Pieces.

Click here or scroll down below to view a trailer for Thousand Pieces of Gold.

Click here, or scroll down below to view an April 29 Q&A with the stars and filmmakers of Thousand Pieces of Gold.

To rent Thousand Pieces of Gold, visit the Kino Marquee site:

To donate to the Cinematheque's Friends of Film fund, visit:

We value your support for the Cinematheque and we look forward to being able to watch movies with you soon in the proper cinematic settings of 4070 Vilas Hall and the Chazen Museum of Art.