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Reading Advisory at the Ames Public Library
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Chinese Films at Ames Public Library

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A-D | E-H | I-Q | R-S | T-Z | Other Films on Chinese Topics

Aftershock (DVD FOREIGN AFT)  In Mandarin, Albanian, or English, with captions in Chinese or English.  135 min.  2011. 

Based on the novel Aftershock by Zhang Ling, the film follows a family victimized by the Tangshan earthquake. The father dies while trying to rescue his children, Fang Deng and Fang Da. Unable to save both kids, the mother sacrifices Fang Deng for her feeble younger brother Fang Da, an agonizing decision.

Ashes of Time Redux (DVD FOREIGN ASH)  In Cantonese or French, with English captions.  94 min.  2008. 

Ouyang Feng is a heartbroken, cynical man alone in the desert. He connects swordsmen with those seeking revenge and willing to pay for it. He interweaves the stories of his clients, old friends and future foes. He begins to realize the mistakes of his own past and how his fear of rejection may have led him to a life of exile.

Autumn Moon (DVD FOREIGN AUT)  In Cantonese with English captions.  103 min.  1992. 

A Chinese teen invites a young man for a meal cooked by her 80-year-old grandmother. As their friendship develops, so do relationships between generations and upheavals in Hong Kong society.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress: A Tailor Made Romance (DVD FOREIGN BAL)  In Chinese with English captions.  111 min.  2002. 

This film is based on a bestselling novel. In 1971 China, during the cultural revolution, two city teenagers are sent to a backward mountainous region for Maoist re-education. After stealing forbidden western literature, they woo a tailor’s granddaughter and teach her things that change her perspective.

Be with Me (DVD FOREIGN BE)  In Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, and English.  93 min.  2005. 

A tapestry of three stories is woven around the themes of love, hope, tragedy and redemption. The characters are fictitious with the exception of Theresa Chan, a courageous deaf and blind woman whose life story inspired the film.

A Beautiful Life (DVD FOREIGN BEA)  In Mandarin with English captions.  122 min.  2011. 

Li Peiru moves to Beijing from Hong Kong to make a living as a real estate mogul. She's an opportunist alcoholic who's not looking for love, but content with her career and her affair with a married man. In a romantic twist of fate, she falls in love with Fang Zhendong, a local policeman who is honest, rigid, and a devoted caregiver to his autistic brother. Can the couple's relationship survive traumatic events like injury, illnesses and loss?

Beijing Bicycle (DVD FOREIGN BEI)  In Mandarin with English captions.  113 min.  2001. 

Just as Guai, a bicycle messenger, makes his final payment for the mountain bike loaned by his company, he finds it stolen. After searching, Guai discovers his bicycle is now in the hands of Jian, who bought it with stolen money. Though they finally work out a deal, they are involved in a series of unforgettable events.

Blind Mountain (DVD FOREIGN BLI)  In Mandarin with English captions.  103 min.  2009. 

Rural China, 1990.  Bai is a pretty college student who travels to a remote mountain village with a pair of affable strangers.  What Bai thought was an expedition to gather herbs turns horrific when the pair sells her into slavery.  This film contrasts China’s beauty with the cruelty of a system that tolerates human trafficking and those who thrive on it.

The Blue Kite (DVD FOREIGN BLU)  In Mandarin with English captions.  138 min.  1993. 

Banned in China, this film is the most acclaimed and controversial to come out of the new Chinese cinema. Told from the perspective of a young boy, Tietou, it traces the fate of a Beijing family and their neighbors through the political and social upheavals in 1950’s - 60’s China.

China Blue (338.47687 DVD CHI)  In Chinese and some English, with English captions.  88 min.  2005. 

This is a recorded DVD and may not play on all equipment. This documentary visits a Chinese blue-jean factory, where workers are trying to survive a harsh working environment. When the factory owner agrees to a deal with his Western client that forces his teenage workers to work around the clock, a confrontation becomes inevitable.

Chungking Express (DVD FOREIGN CHU)  In Chinese with English captions.  102 min.  1996. 

Tasty takeout is not the only thing served hot at this little fast food restaurant! The lives and loves of its colorful customers also crisscross the counter − spicy romance is the specialty of the house!

City of Life and Death (DVD FOREIGN CIT)  In Mandarin or English, with English captions.  132 min.  2011. 

On December 9, 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army laid siege to the Chinese capital of Nanking, beginning a reign of terror that killed as many as 300,000 civilians, a tragedy now referred to as the Rape of Nanking. This is the first big-budget fiction film by the Chinese to deal with the seminal event in their modern history.  It is a heartbreaking portrait of life during wartime, and a masterpiece of contemporary world cinema.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (DVD FOREIGN CRO)  In Mandarin or French, with English or French captions.  120 min.  2000. 

Set in nineteenth-century China, two warriors are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword is stolen. A young aristocratic woman prepares for an arranged marriage, but soon reveals her superior fighting talents and her romantic past. As the warriors battle for justice, they come face-to-face with their worst enemies and with the enduring power of love.

Curse of the Golden Flower  (DVD FOREIGN CUR)  In Chinese or English, with captions in English or Spanish.  114 min.  2006. 

China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the palace. The Emperor arrives with his second son, Prince Jai, to celebrate the holiday, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the Empress, this seems disingenuous. Secret liaisons and plots abound. As the Imperial Family continues its elaborate charade, armored warriors charge the palace.

Dam Street (DVD FOREIGN DAM)  In Mandarin and Sichuan, with English captions.  93 min.  2005. 

In spite of China’s rigid moral code, a 16-year-old girl becomes pregnant. Her family loses face, and the school expels her and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend leaves, and she puts her child up for adoption. Ten years later, she is a singer and a young boy protects her. A marriage proposal tests their friendship and her unresolved past.

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (DVD FOREIGN DET)  In Mandarin with English captions.  119 min.  2011. 

A bizarre murder mystery brings together the most powerful woman in China, the soon-to-be-Empress Wu Zetian, and a formerly exiled detective, Dee Renjie, at the infamous Imperial Palace. Hoping he will solve the crime before her coronation, Wu appoints Dee Chief Judge of the Empire and implores him to combine his indisputable wisdom with his unparalleled martial arts skills to save the future of her dynasty. It is inspired by the true story of one of the Tang Dynasty's most celebrated officials.

Dim Sum (DVD FOREIGN DIM)  In Cantonese or English, with English captions.  87 min.  1986. 

A Chinese immigrant widow faces the New Year with apprehension after the prediction of her death. Her list of things to do, which includes seeing her daughter get married and visiting China one last time, soon comes into focus.

Drifters (DVD FOREIGN DRI)  In Mandarin with English captions.  120 min.  2003. 

A Chinese man feels pulled between his responsibilities in America (where he has fathered a son) and China (where he has fallen in love with an opera singer).

The Drummer (DVD FOREIGN DRU)  In Mandarin and Cantonese with English captions.  115 min.  2007. 

Sid, the rebellious son of Kwan, a savage Hong Kong triad boss, escapes to Taiwan upon enraging his father's adversary, a powerful underground business leader. Hiding out in the mountains, Sid meets a group of Zen drummers. Their art, training, and austere way of life pique Sid’s interest and he asks to join the group. Although Sid despises his father, he is turning out to be a younger version of him. Immersion in the drummers’ world converts him into a focused young man. Sid's independence is challenged, however, when fate forces him to choose between loyalty to his family and his newfound faith in himself.



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