An Orphan/The Orphan Of The Storm (雪中孤雏)

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Uniquely crafted tale, told largely in title cards rather than imagery, suggesting that the protagonist was a Cinderella-like victim of human cruelty, while at the same time making it clear that her negative psychological responses were at the root of her problems. Wonderful acting by the three most villainous characters, along with a surprisingly modern look of both the cinematography, and the lead couple (who co-directed!).

Online: Internet Archive

The English title is The Orphan Of The Storm. Remember that - we'll return to it.
Title card
Chun Mei, the story's heroine, is introduced as a new bride (presumably in an arranged marriage) who is a poverty-stricken orphan hemmed in by adverse circumstances she is powerless to resist - "too weak to defend herself against the crowd of rowdies around her" - a description quite similar to that often given of China during its occupation: the "sick man of Asia", with Japan as its “robber neighbour”.
Intertitle introducing Chun Mei
A running theme is the contrast between traditional and modern - the hot topic in the heady iconoclasm of the early days of China's republic. Chun Mei's new mother-in-law is introduced as a devotee of Confucian ethics: the "old ways".
Intertitle introducing mother-in-law

Tongue-fu: the loudest "silent" performance ever

Chun Mei's new father-in-law is never seen, but his concubine is introduced as half-new, "the tigress", with a fierce mouth that would reduce the toughest man to tears. The brief performance of unnoted actress Lee Hong Hong (李紅紅) was not only by far the film's high point, but the scariest "shrew" I've ever seen. Even director/lead White Rose Woo appeared to be genuinely taken aback by Lee Hong Hong's intensity.
Although her new husband never mistreats her, and despite his efforts to please her, Chun Mei (right) finds him completely repulsive, so refuses to sleep with him, and makes no effort to address his concerns.
The Tigress 1
Not surprisingly, the concubine takes a rather dim view of the haughtiness she perceives in the new bride, and so provides her with a few choice words.
The Tigress 2
"Wait - that kind of language wasn't in the script..."
The Tigress 3
Topped off with a serving of extreme mean-mugging.
The Tigress 4
Ta Ping, The Story's Hero, dressed in stylish European fashion and introduced as "heroic in manner" and "liberal", meets Chun Mei after she deserted her husband. One look at her clump of scuzzy mangy hair, and he's hooked by a bad case of jungle fever.
The Hero

She tells him she is a homeless wanderer, and that she herself does not know how she ended up at that spot passed out (the 2nd of 4 faints). She doesn't tell him that it was a suicide attempt, that she left her husband, and a home with a servant. Has she lost her memory, or is she intentionally concealing the truth?

Ta Ping was introduced as a mediator who is "able to smooth out difficulties of others", but he is kept in the dark, and never given the opportunity to mediate Chun Mei's dispute with her husband and in-laws. Wrongly believing she is alone and destitute, he takes her into his own home as a servant - doing the same work she just ran away from, so chances of success are slim.

When The Hero's mom asks about the background of Chun Mei (who en route managed to find a way to pull her hair together), she replies that she is an orphan, and then squeezes out a few tears. But should viewers believe this? She has already claimed to be homeless, when we know she is not. Her words and actions appear to be calculated to evoke pity.
Pleading orphan
Chun Mei's pity routine has an effect on The Hero's Big Sister, who is introduced only as a gossiper. But that turns out to be a red herring, since gossiping never comes up in the story.
We first see Big Sis chilling on the pleasure of “Puff, The Magic Dragon”, just oozing Maximum Cool.
Big Sis
At this point, we are told that despite being relieved from destitution and given a chance for a better future, Chun Mei focuses on her past, wallowing in self-pity and thus fails in her work. This is another instance of Chun Mei being described with a trait analogous to imperial China, whose failure to keep up with changes in the modern world was attributed to clinging to tradition: i.e. focusing on the past.
Chun Mei in self-pity
As an aside: those earrings of Chun Mei are prominent throughout the film, but it's not clear what significance they have, if any. They appear to contain emblems of imperial authority, from top to bottom: sun (日), moon (月), and mountain (山). And if you play the film backwards at slow speed, you can hear Ringo say "Paul is dead"...
When Big Sis peeps Chun Mei moping in self-pity, she instantly shifts from Maximum Cool to Zero Cool, from lazing to raging, as she discovers her life's true passion: whacking on Chun Mei. Turns her into quite a hottie.
Teaching Chun Mei a lesson Raging Sis
Hormones raging out of control, Big Sis directly disobeys mom, so mom has to hold her back. Seems possible that this scene could have been quite shocking at the time, as it shows feudalistic violence in a "progressive" household.
Whacking Chun Mei Mom holds Sis back
Meanwhile, another case of hormones raging out of control flares up, as The Hero finally comes out of the closet about the nature of his kinky hair petting fetish.
Hair fetish Kinky hair petting
Chun Mei's hair has returned to its native tangled state, now standing straight up. But maybe in 1929 Shanghai that's what Westerners' hair looked like.
Jungle hair
Fortunately, at least one family member's hormones are under control. For a long time Dad travelled in foreign lands but now, weary of travel, has returned home to start farming and to stimulate his children to labor. This may have been another unusual story element at the time. Although it was not unusual for China's gentry to travel and study abroad (and some even returned committed to agrarian reform, and support for peasant movements), Dad's idea of farming as education for young bourgeoisie, an idea that garnered little or no attention in China until the 1960s, must have struck viewers as comically absurd.
Dad's farm suit
The comic absurdity is explicitly highlighted by Dad's modern, progressive farm attire.
Dad's farm suit, closeup
Dad was not fazed by Chun Mei's cries of self-pity, and astutely perceived her real problem: she's a spaced-out klutzy jonah that gots the evil-eye on her, and her whammy will drag the whole household to doom if she doesn't hit the road pronto. Booyah - done. Chun Mei to the curb.
Yup, Father Knows Best.
At this point, it became obvious that something was lost in translation:
At night
Best I can tell, this translates to something like: "Suddenly the wind and rain stopped, freezing into endless ice, becoming a world of glass" (一剎那間,風停雨止,結冰累累,頓成玻璃世界).
Recall that English title The Orphan Of The Storm? Well, this seems to be the titular moment, when the heroine who we are not convinced is really an orphan is in a storm that is never mentioned to readers of the English titles.
Unquestionably, an unreliable narrator - whether this is intentional or not is anyone's guess.