More than a century after the Titanic sank in April 1912, few new stories surface from the wreck. When documentary filmmaker Arthur Jones and his team started work on “The Six” — their film about the ship’s six Chinese survivors — in 2012, they kept expecting to find that someone else had already told the story. Yet the history of the Chinese passengers who escaped the Titanic has largely been forgotten, even in their homeland, as discriminatory U.S. immigration policies and a cultural imperative of self-effacement combined to obscure their tale.
“There is something that really is quite Chinese about that: Essentially, don’t raise your head too far above the parapet because you will get shot down,” Jones told Sixth Tone from his Shanghai studio. “I think that a confluence of these two factors means that out of several hundred people, they were the only ones who never told their stories.”