A new film shedding light on the untold stories of Chinese passengers who survived the Titanic is scheduled for release in 2018.
The upcoming documentary “The Six” will present the stories of six Chinese men during and after the ship’s sinking in April 1912.
According to the Encyclopedia Titanica, there were eight Chinese passengers on board the Titanic, all of whom were sailors. They came from Guangdong and Hong Kong, China Daily noted.
The passengers were all traveling on single tickets. Those who have been identified include Ali Lam, Chang Chip, Choong Foo, Fang Lang, Lee Bing, Len Lam and Ling Hee.
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All reportedly survived except Len Lam and Ling Hee. Fang Lang, a Hongkonger, was found on a floating wreckage and was misidentified as a “Jap.”
Four of the other survivors were rescued by a lifeboat, while one made it onto another.
It is remembered that rescue operations on the Titanic called to save “women and children first.” As a result, the Chinese passengers’ appearance on the responding ship Carpathia raised eyebrows at the time, the Hong Kong Free Press noted.
As the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on April 19, 1912, “No one could tell where the Chinese came from, not how they got in the boats, but there they were.”
The absence of the Chinese passengers in documented history has unfortunately spurred more questions, including speculations that they may not be real seamen, after all.
Filmmaker Steven Schwankert, however, sees otherwise.
“That huge vessel that came out of Belfast is the alpha and the omega of shipwrecks,” he told the Belfast Telegraph. “Their story is actually one of courage and of quick thinking. We don’t accept history as it is presented — we don’t believe these guys just disappeared.”
And as Aidan McMichael, chairman of Belfast Titanic Society, put it:
“Everybody who died or survived on that ship was an individual, so it’s good that whenever information comes out that can be sourced that is positive about those people because it means those stories are brought back to life.”