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Chinese Cinema

Alice's collection of Chinese films is growing as the film industry there expands and begins to embrace an ever-increasing international audience. Films from China are often marked by great craft and attention to detail, and the stories are involved and often carry a political subtext. Though we have very little that is pre-1990, there is everything here from engaging personal stories to sweeping historical epics. Pictured: Maggie Cheung in the stylized and breath-takingly beautiful 'Hero' from master craftsman Zhang Yimou.

The Flowers of War (2011)

7.6/10
Director: Zhang Yimou
Starring: Christian Bale, Ni Ni

In 1937 China, an American mortician (Christian Bale) come to Nanking to deal with a monk's burial finds himself trapped by the Japanese occupation of... Read more

The Founding of a Republic (2009)

4.9/10
Director: Jianxin Huang, Sanping Han
Starring: Andy Lau, Chen Kaige, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, John Woo, Stephen Chow, V...

Featuring (in roles large and small) a host of China's biggest films stars, this epic tells the story of post-WWII China and the troubles it faced. Th... Read more

The Great Wall (2016)

6/10
Director: Zhang Yimou
Starring: Andy Lau, Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian

Set a thousand years ago, during the Song dynasty, Matt Damon portrays a mercenary warrior who is imprisoned within the Great Wall, where he discovers... Read more

The Great Wall ( Blu-ray ) (2016)

6/10
Director: Zhang Yimou
Starring: Andy Lau, Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, Pedro Pascal, Jing Tian

Set a thousand years ago, during the Song dynasty, Matt Damon portrays a mercenary warrior who is imprisoned within the Great Wall, where he discovers... Read more

The King of Masks (1996)

7.6/10
Director: Wu Tianming
Starring: Chu Yuk, Chao Yim Yin

"The King of Masks" tells a tale steeped in ancient tradition, simultaneously challenging the socio-sexual inequity still plaguing China today. On the... Read more

The Mermaid (2016)

6.3/10
Director: Stephen Chow
Starring: Deng Chao, Yun Lin, Show Luo, Yuqi Zhang, Pierre Bourdaud

From Stephen Chow, director of Kung Fu Hustle, comes The Mermaid: the comedic action-filled phenomenon that has become China's biggest film of all ti... Read more

The Message (2009)

7.4/10
Director: Qunshu Gao, Kuo-fu Chen
Starring: Xiaoming Huang, Dahong Ni, Wang Zhiwen, Zhang Hanyu

1942, Nanking: following a series of assassination attempts on Japanese officials, the spy chief collects those suspected of the attempted-sabotage in... Read more

The Missing Gun (2002)

6.8/10
Director: Lu Chuan
Starring: Wen Jiang, Ning Jing

Small-town Chinese policeman Ma Shan (Jiang Wen) wakes up the morning after his cousin's wedding to discover that his gun - a rare, state-issued firea... Read more

The Nightingale (2013)

7/10
Director: Phillipe Muyl
Starring: Boatian Li, Xiaoran Li, Xin Yi Yang

Zhigen, an old Chinese farmer, has lived alone in Beijing for over 20 years after moving to the city to allow his son Chongyi to attend university. He... Read more

The Promise (2005)

5.6/10
Director: Chen Kaige
Starring: Cecilia Cheung, Hiroyuki Sanada, Nicholas Tse, Dong-kun Jang, Liu Ye, Chen Hong

From the director of 'Farewell My Concubine' comes this visually stunning tale of passion, set in China's mythical past, that unfolds against a backdr... Read more