CHANG (1927) B/W "silent" 69m dirs: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper

From Georges Sadoul's Dictionary of Films: "Dramatized documentary of the life of Kru and his family in the jungle of Thailand. ...

"Paul Morand, who had met the directors in the Far East, says of the film: 'What Nanook was for the snow, Chang is for the Asiatic jungle. Man still plays there the same role that our ancestors played in the primeval forests. The effort of these solitary turners of the crank gives sedentary Westerners their last glimpses of Earthly Paradise.' If the comparison with Flaherty is exaggerated, Chang was nevertheless, at the end of the silent period, an interesting documentary construction in which the two film makers 'directed' the natives and animals of the Siamese jungle in order to tell a story they knew would have public appeal."

From Documentary: A History of the Non-Fiction Film: "Chang [was] commissioned by Paramount, and filmed in Siam, and ostensibly following a Nanook pattern: a family struggling for survival, in this case against jungle animals. But the impressive animal sequences were set in a story framework that must have been part of Hollywood pre-planning, along with pretentious subtitled dialogue. Kru, as a Lao tribesman, tells his child:

"'The very last grain of rice is husked, O very small daughter!'

"At a moment of crisis, a Lao call to battle:

"'Out, swords! Out spears! Out, O brave men! Help us, O Lord Buddha!'

"From their documentary beginnings the Cooper-Schoedsack team was clearly veering in other directions, more in line with studio ideas. They had their ultimate success a few years later with King Kong."