Thousand Pieces of Gold
Film Thousand Pieces of Gold


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Dir. Nancy Kelly | 1990, 105min
With Rosalind Chao, Chris Cooper, Michael Paul Chan, Dennis Dun

BAM partners with Kino Lorber to present a virtual revival run of Nancy Kelly’s underrated gem of 90s American independent filmmaking, a feminist take on the classic Manifest Destiny tale.

An underrated gem of 90s American independent filmmaking, Nancy Kelly’s Thousand Pieces of Gold offers a feminist lens on the classic Manifest Destiny tale. Adapted by filmmaker and writer Anne Makepeace from Ruthanne Lum McCunn’s historical 1981 novel, the film tells the story of Lalu, a young Chinese woman (Chao) sold into slavery by her own parents, trafficked to a nefarious saloonkeeper in Idaho's gold country, then won in a poker game by a man who eventually gains her trust (Cooper). Drawing comparisons to John Ford, Kelly, an acclaimed documentarian making her fiction debut, subverts the Western genre’s patriarchal and misogynistic worldview, instead lending a nuanced, emotional, and profoundly empathetic perspective to this story of frontier survival and immigrant isolation.

Q&A with director Nancy Kelly, producer Kenji Yamamoto, actors Rosalind Chao and Chris Cooper, and screenwriter Anne Makepeace.

Join our virtual Q&A on YouTube at 8pm on April 29

50% of ticket sales go to support BAM, helping to ensure the future of BAM’s adventurous programming.

Please note we are not able to offer member discounts on at-home film screenings at this time.

+ Q&A with director and cast 4/29, 8pm