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Chinese Film Resources

A survey of the library's Chinese-language DVD and streaming film collections. comp. by Eliza Perez.

Major Chinese Films - official trailers - See additional titles below

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

2000, dir. Ang Lee.

Set in 19th-century China, two master 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 each warrior battles for justice, they come face-to-face with their worst enemy, and the enduring power of love.

Pushing Hands

1992, dir. Ang Lee.

A tai-chi master and widower moves from Beijing to a New York suburb to live with his only son. With a daughter-in-law who has no use for him and an ever-changing society, problems quickly arise. He is forced to call upon his tai-chi teachings and it's "pushing hands" to give him the balance needed to survive in this poignant and comic tale.

Eat Drink Man Woman

1994, dir. Ang Lee.

A retired master chef and widower is worried about the future of his three unmarried daughters who are skeptical about marriage. Yet he himself surprises them with his secret love affair with a young woman many years his junior.

Lust, Caution

2007, dir. Ang Lee.

Set against the backdrop of Japanese occupied Shanghai in 1942, a young woman finds herself swept up in a radical plot to assassinate a ruthless and secretive intelligence agent. As she immerses herself in her role as a cosmopolitan seductress, she becomes entangled in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue, love and betrayal.

Farewell My Concubine

1993, dir. Chen Kaige.

A story that spans more than 50 years in the lives of two men at the Peking Opera, friends since childhood, and the woman who comes between them. Also an absorbing drama of the period in Chinese history from the warlord era through the Cultural Revolution.


2002, dir. Chen Kaige.

Xiaochun is a 13 year-old violin prodigy and his father Liu Cheng, is willing to sacrifice everything so that his son can take violin lessons. When they move to Beijing, Xiaochun encounters new and demanding teachers, discovers true friendship, learns about painful choices and comes to understand the force of his father's love.

A World Without Thieves

2004, dir. Feng Xiaogang.

Bo (Andy Lau), a master pickpocket, and Li (Rene Li), a femme fatale grifter are partners in crime and passion. The couple swindle their way across China until one day Li suddenly decides to call it quits. It is at this crossroad in their lives and relationship that they run into Fu Gen, a naive and wealthy peasant in a train station and begin a journey that will alter their fates forever.


2011, dir. Feng Xiaogang

Disaster film based on events surrounding the 1976 earthquake in Tangshan, which took the lives of 240,000 people. In the aftermath of the devastating quake, a widowed seamstress (Xu Fan) must choose which of her brother-and-sister twins will be saved after rescuers find them pinned down by a single concrete block. She chooses her son, Fang Dan (Chen Li), unaware that her daughter Fang Deng (Jingchu Zhang) has in fact also survived the ordeal. The film then follows the divergent lives of the two siblings from this point until their eventual reunion in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008.

The Assassin

2016, dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

This take on the traditional wuxia film, set in 9th century China, centers on Nie Yinniang, a young woman who was abducted in childhood from a decorated general and raised by a nun who trained her in the martial arts to be an assassin who is directed to slay corrupt government officials. After 13 years of exile, she is returned to the land of her birth with orders to kill her betrothed husband-to-be and she will have to choose between sacrificing the man she loves, or break definitively with the 'Order of the Assassins.'

The Time to Live and the Time to Die

1985, dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien.

The film depicts a family transplanted from mainland China to Taiwan in the early 1950s. The father dies of illness and the elder sister marries. A-ha, the protagonist, struggles to deal with adolescence.

Three Times

2005, dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

A rapturous and beautiful love story set in three different eras - a pool hall in 1966, a 1911 brothel, and present-day Taipei. The director brings to life the culture of each period as the tales unfold.

Millennium Mambo

2004, dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien.

Working as a hostess in a trendy bar, a young beauty finds herself mercilessly torn between two men: Hao-hao, her neurotic and jealous live-in boyfriend, and Jack, the mysterious and enterprising gangster who may be her undoing. Chronicles the fleeting, finite blooming of a young woman.

Red Cliff

2008, dir. John Woo.

An Emperor declares war on two kingdoms in China to unite the entire country during 208 AD, which becomes one of the biggest military battles in history as the two kingdoms unite against the Emperor.

Hard Boiled

1992, dir. John Woo. 

After his partner is killed, a vengeful cop and his undercover colleague take on the gun smugglers responsible for his death.

Further titles

City of Life and Death

2011, dir. Lu Chuan.
Based on recorded witness testimonies, this acclaimed film recreates the infamous reign of terror waged by the occupying Japanese army in the Chinese capital of Nanking in 1937. 

In the Heat of the Sun

1994, dir. Wen Jiang.

Set in the early 1970s during the Maoist Cultural Revolution in China, this coming-of-age film by acclaimed director Wen Jiang explores the budding erotic and romantic lives of a group of teenage street gang members.

Red Sorghum

1987, dir. Zhang Yimou.

Based on the acclaimed novel by Mo Yan. In 1930s China a young woman is sent by her father to marry the leprous owner of a winery. Torn by tradition and honor she is at odds with the owner and seeks fulfilment elsewhere. In the nearby red sorghum fields she falls for one of his servants and when her master dies she finds herself inheriting the isolated business and establishes a family legacy.

Xiu Xiu = The Sent Down Girl

1999, dir. Joan Chen.

Between 1967 and 1976, nearly 8 million Chinese youths were "sent down" for specialized training to the remotest corners of the country. The young and beautiful Xiu Xiu dreamt of becoming a horse trainer in Tibet, far away from her busy city home. Her training begins in the isolated plains of Tibet but slowly Xiu Xiu discovers that she is unlikely to ever see her home again without a wealthy sponsor. Her world becomes a horrifying cage, where "patrons" promise her escape in exchange for her sexual compromise.

The Emperor and the Assassin
1998, dir. Chen Kaige.
Fictional account of the brutal reign of Qīn, the first emperor of China, and a man sent to assassinate him. 

Happy Together

1997, dir. Wong Kar-Wai.

Yiu Fai and Po Wing left Hong Kong for a great waterfall in South America, but in the end are stuck on the streets of Buenos Aires. Yiu Fai's life takes on a new spin, while Po Wing's life shatters continually in contrast.

The Grandmaster

2014, dir. Wong Kar-Wai.

Watch an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man, who mentored Bruce Lee. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China's last dynasty, a time of chaos, division, and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts.


2002, dir. Zhang Yimou.

With supernatural skill and no fear, a nameless soldier embarks on a mission of revenge against the fearsome army that massacred his people. Now, to achieve the justice he seeks, he must take on the empire's most ruthless assassins and reach the enemy he has sworn to defeat.

House of Flying Daggers

During the reign of the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called "The House of the Flying Daggers" rises and opposes the government. Leo is a police officer who sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the "Flying Daggers" organization. Leo ends up arresting Mei, only to have Jin break her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem.

Shanghai Triad

1995, dir. Zhang Yimou.

Uncle Liu brings his cousin to Shanghai to work for 'Boss,' the leader of a powerful drug empire in the 1930's. Shuisheng, a simple country boy, is awed and overwhelmed by the opulence and immense wealth he is suddenly surrounded by. He is to be the attendant of Xiao Jingbao, the new mistress of 'Boss.' While he fumbles with the demands of his new role, much intrigue is going on around him, well beyond his bewildered perception. Xiao Jingbao is having a tumultuous affair, Fat Yu is starting a gang war, and 'Boss' is beginning to suspect that one of his trusted men is not loyal.

Jú Dòu

1990, dir. Zhang Yimou

In 1920s China, a young woman is forced into marriage and is then abused by her elderly husband. Her suffering attracts the sympathy of her husband's younger, kinder nephew, and the two begin a secret affair that could lead to tragic consequences.

A Touch of Sin

2013, dir. Jia Zhangke

Inspired by four shocking and true events, the film focuses on four characters who are driven to violent ends. An angry miner, enraged by widespread corruption, decides to take justice into his own hands. A rootless migrant discovers the infinite possibilities of owning a firearm. A young receptionist is pushed beyond her limits by an abusive client. A young factory worker goes from one discouraging job to the next, only to face increasingly degrading circumstances.

The Road Home

An unforgettable journey filled with romance, culture and tradition. When his father dies, Luo Yusheng returns from the city to his childhood village where his father was the much-revered local teacher. But what begins as a short trip to bury his father becomes much more when he learns his mother wants a traditional burial for her beloved husband. She wants to have him carried by foot, honoring the belief that a body returned this way will never forget the road home. As Yusheng enlists the men needed to fulfill her wishes, the story of his parents' love affair unfolds. In the days of arranged marriages, he learns theirs was the first based on love.

Not One Less

In the crushing poverty of rural China, a young woman is ordered to a remote village to be their substitute teacher. Barely older than her students, the shy girl is charged with keeping the class intact for one month or she won't be paid. Faced with overwhelming family debt, her biggest little troublemaker disappears into the city to find work. The stubborn teacher, however, is determined to follow the boy and bring him back to school. Once in the city, her simple peasant pleas fall on deaf ears, and only when the local television station sympathizes does her search bear fruit.

To Live

1994, dir. Zhang Yimou

Follows the struggles of an impoverished husband and wife from their heyday in the 1940s to the hardships that accompanied the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. They raise two children amidst a Communist regime, surviving numerous setbacks and yet managing, somehow, to live.

Ip Man

An occupying Japanese general challenges Chinese men to duels so he can prove the superiority of the Japanese. Ip Man (Donnie Yen) - a Chinese martial arts master forced to work in the mines, refuses to fight, but can resist for only for so long.