Broken Blossoms Digitally Remastered D.W. Griffith, one of the most important figures in the history of filmmaking -- and known for the highly controversial The Birth of a Nation -- directed this intimate story of a young girl who befriends a Chinese immigrant in London. Cheng Huan (Richard Barthelmess) leaves his native China to help spread the peaceful message of Buddha to the Western world. He arrives in gritty inner city London and meets Lucy (Lillian Gish), a frail young girl who has escaped from her abusive father. He begins to nurse Lucy back to health but their bond ends in tragedy when word of their unusual friendship spreads. Upon its release in 1919, the film garnered controversy for its at the time graphic depiction of child abuse. Nevertheless, the simple, delicate story impressed critics and audiences and stood in stark contrast to the larger productions of Griffiths filmography.