China

Vivian Qu – Jia nian hua AKA Angels Wear White (2017)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In a small seaside town, two schoolgirls are assaulted by a middle-aged man in a motel. Mia, a teenager who was working on reception that night, is the only witness. For fear of losing her job, she says nothing. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Wen, one of the victims, finds that her troubles have only just begun. Trapped in a world that offers them no safety, Mia and Wen will have to find their own way out. Read More »

Sijie Dai – Niu-Peng AKA China, my sorrow (1989)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Dai Sijie’s first feature film. Filmed in the south of France with a mostly non-professional cast. As Dai’s famous film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, the story of Niu-peng is about the Cultural revolution, the re-education programs, and about music. Read More »

Ming Zhang – Jieguo AKA Before Born (2006)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

From wikipedia :
Before Born (simplified Chinese: 结果; traditional Chinese: 結; pinyin: jiégǔo) is a 2006 Chinese film directed by Zhang Ming. Only Zhang’s third film in a decade, Before Born is a surreal mystery about modern Chinese life that has garnered comparisons to L’avventura, Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic 1960 film. The film tells the story of a private detective, Huang Guangliang, hired to gather evidence of an affair by a man named Li Chonggao. When he arrives in the coastal city of Beihai in search of his target, he discovers that he has disappeared and instead meets an enigmatic young woman who is also looking for Li. Read More »

Nuanxing Zhang – Qing chun ji AKA Sacrificed Youth (1985)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

TimeOut London wrote:
A lyrical, elegiac tale about the generation of students banished to remote agricultural regions of China during the Cultural Revolution. 17-year-old Li Chun, a shy, even repressed Han girl from Beijing, is sent to work in a small village in the Dai countryside, down near Laos. At first disdainful of the natives’ rural superstitions and poverty, only slowly does she overcome her outsider status and learn the value of the Dais’ appreciation of beauty, nature and human warmth. An unsentimental celebration of tradition, exotic landscape and cultural independence, Zhang’s film is both a loving portrait of Dai life and a sensitive, partly autobiographical study of one girl’s hesitant awakening to sensuality. Infused with a discreet, gentle eroticism and a final, touching sense of loss, it charms through its narrative simplicity and visual elegance. Read More »

Jinglei Xu – Yi ge mo sheng nu ren de lai xin aka A Letter from an Unknown Woman (2004)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

This is an adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s story “Letter from an unknown woman” to China settling in a time period before the cultural revolution (1930-1948).

Plot:
Peking, 1948. A winter night. A man returns home to find a letter awaiting him written by a woman before her death. in the letter she tells him the story of her love for him – a life-long passion that has not diminished over time, but one that he has never known. Her story spans 18 years from the moment she -then a 13 year-old girl- sets her eyes on her new neighbor. She tells their brief but passionate love in her youth and the hardship she goes through raising their child alone, and their final encounter after the war, during which the man fails to recognize her and one which leaves her in despair. Now having lost her son, she no longer has the courage to live on. Only in a letter is she capable of telling him everything, for the first and the last time. Shaken by the letter, the man searches his memory for the nameless woman… Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Yi ge dou bu neng shao AKA Not One Less (1999)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot Summary: “In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each day and promises her an extra 10 yuan if there’s not one less student when he returns. Within days, poverty forces the class troublemaker, Zhang Huike, to leave for the city to work. Minzhi, possessed of a stubborn streak, determines to bring him back. She enlists the 26 remaining pupils in earning money for her trip. She hitches to Jiangjiakou City and begins her search. The boy, meanwhile, is there, lost and begging for food. Minzhi’s stubbornness may be Huike and the village school’s salvation.” Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Da hong deng long gao gao gua aka Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

March 20, 1992
Review/Film; Dissension in the Ranks of a Household’s 4 Wives
By Janet Maslin, New York Times

Songlian (Gong Li), the college-educated beauty who arrives at a feudal manor house at the outset of
Zhang Yimou’s “Raise the Red Lantern,” insists on carrying her own suitcase, which is virtually the
last act of independence she will be permitted during the course of the story. Forced by her stepmother
into what is essentially the life of a concubine, Songlian has agreed to become the fourth wife of a
feudal patriarch, a man so regal that each of his wives presides over her own separate home. Read More »