Thousand Pieces of Gold


Century Larkspur 3 Sun, Oct 6, 2019 2:15 PM
Century Larkspur 3 Tue, Oct 8, 2019 8:30 PM
Film Info
Section:US Cinema
Mind the Gap
Running Time:105 min.
Director:Nancy Kelly
Producer:Kenji Yamamoto
Nancy Kelly
Screenwriter:Anne Makepeace
Cinematographer:Bobby Bukowski
Editor:Kenji Yamamoto
Cast:Rosalind Chao
Chris Cooper
Michael Paul Chan
Dennis Dun
Jimmie F. Skaggs
Will Oldham
Print Source:Kelly+Yamamoto Productions
Note Writer:Jesse Knight


Lauded by the LA Times’ Michael Wilmington as “independent in the best sense of the word,” adding “the emotions are felt, the textures are true; the film, rich and moving,” this beloved masterwork from director Nancy Kelly (her only narrative feature to date) is a harrowing and inspiring tale of resilience, survival, and unexpected romance. After being sold into marriage by her destitute father, Lalu (a fiercely commanding Rosalind Chao) is transported from China to the American Old West against her will. Stranded far from home in a treacherous, alien land and pawned off from one male owner to the next, Lalu must learn to navigate her own independence while consistently being treated as property. Co-starring Oscar® winner Chris Cooper as a sympathetic saloon owner and set against the dusty yet sumptuous backdrop of a thriving Idaho gold-mining town at the turn of the 20th century, Thousand Pieces of Gold was based on the life of Chinese American pioneer Polly Bemis and adapted from San Francisco author Ruthanne Lum McCunn’s novel. Discover—or revisit—this sweeping epic as it was meant to be seen in this new 4K restoration by IndieCollect, under the supervision of director Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto.

EXPECTED GUEST: Director Nancy Kelly


Thank you to our Community Partners CAAM and SFFILM!

Additional Information

A native of North Adams, Massachusetts, Nancy Kelly is self-taught. As a public health educator, she was hired to produce five short dramas about how to drink responsibly. She worked as a ranch hand while she shot A Cowhand’s Song (1981) and Cowgirls (1985). She made her narrative feature debut with Thousand Pieces of Gold (1990). It remains her only fiction feature, but she has continued to direct documentaries, including Downside Up (2002), Smitten (2005), and Rebels with a Cause (2013).