"“Who were they, why were they on board and what happened to them after the disaster?"
A new film is documenting what happened to six Chinese men who survived the Titanic.
As reported by SCMP, a film titled The Six is uncovering how six Chinese survivors of the Titanic went undocumented.
Of the 2,200 people onboard the RMS Titanic, eight were Chinese men – six of whom survived when the British passenger liner sank on 15 April 1912.
What’s more, the Chinese were the largest ethnic group of non-Europeans or North American passengers on board.
Lee Bing, Fang Lang, Chang Chip, Ah Lam, Chung Foo and Ling Hee are the Chinese survivors, whilst Lee Ling and Len Lam are the two that died.
British documentary maker Arthur Jones is behind the documentary and questions why these men’s stories were untold.
“Of the 700 survivors of the Titanic disaster, the six Chinese men never told their stories. Why were they ignored?” Jones asks. “The global press loved and continues to love the Titanic story, chronicling every little detail, right down to the size of the ashtrays in second class. But nothing was reported about the Chinese passengers.”
“Who were they, why were they on board and what happened to them after the disaster? And how did so many get on a lifeboat?” He asks.
Jones has collaborated with Steven Schwankert to uncover the men’s stories.
“Thousands reached out, so I launched whoarethesix.com to get more information from people, asking if they had any information about relatives who might have been on board,” Jones said.
After surviving the incident, the men were not allowed into the US due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. The men were then sent to an immigration station on Ellis island where they disappeared within 24 hours.
“Other survivors were welcomed to the US with open arms. But these six were given no support and [were] widely mocked in the press,” Jones says.
“Rumours swirled that they dressed as women, or pushed children away to get on lifeboats or hid like stowaways in the lifeboats. But we found they didn’t hide or dress as women – they all had valid tickets and there is no evidence of them taking seats from children and women.”
“Six Chinese guys made it off the Titanic alive, and 24 hours later were written out of the story. That wasn’t an accident. That was deliberate. It’s something that the culture of the time made happen.”
The Six will be released later this year.