Chinese Videos - last updated 8-22-12

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The King of Masks

1999 Run Time: 91 minutes Language: Mandarin Chinese Subtitles: English, Spanish, French DVD

Director: Tian-Ming Wu
Actors: Zhigang Zhang, Zhigang Zhao, Renying Zhou, Xu Zhu

The streets of 1930's Sichuan set the stage for THE KING OF MASKS, an award-winning tale of hope and transformation in the face of poverty and loneliness.

As a rare master of an ancient art, the skills of The King of Masks are sought out by even the most beloved star of the esteemed Chinese Opera. But tradition dictates that the aging master's trade only be passed on to a male heir.

Desperate for his art to survive, The King of Masks finds an apprentice in a destitute child purchased on the black market. When the child reveals an unexpected secret, their relationship is suddenly tested by both the old man's stubborn sense of tradition and the established customs of China.

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Curse of the Golden Flower

2006 Run Time: 114 minutes Languages: Chinese and English Subtitles: English, French DVD

Director: Yimou Zhang
Actors: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou, Ye Liu, Dahong Ni

From the director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers comes the martial arts epic masterpiece whose savage beauty and exquisite elegance has mesmerized and captivated audiences around the world. Set in the lavish and breathtakingly colorful world hidden from the eyes of mere mortals behind the walls of the Forbidden City, a tale of a royal family divided against itself builds to a mythic climax as lines are crossed, trust is betrayed, and family blood is spilled in the quest for redemption and revenge. Starring Chow Yun Fat of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as the embattled Emperor and Gong Li of Memoirs of a Geisha as his poisoned Empress, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER grants you entry into a dazzling and spectacular world of betrayal, vengeance and passion that will change the way you think of martial arts forever.

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The Emperor and The Assassin

1999 Run Time: 162 minutes Language: Mandarin Chinese Subtitles: English, Spanish, French DVD

Director: Kaige Chen
Actors: Haifeng Ding, Li Gong, Yongfei Gu, Xuejian Li, Xiaohe Lu

A visually stunning epic exploring the devastating price one country pays for peace and one man pays for power.

Ying Zheng, the King of Qin, has one driving ambition: to unify China's seven kingdoms into one magnificent empire. Impressed by her lover's convictions, Lady Zhao (Gong Li) helps Ying Zheng concoct an assassination plot that would justify the conquest of Quin's most powerful enemy.

When Ying Zheng's peaceful mission explodes into a brutal holocaust, a disillusioned Lady Zhao is forced to question her loyalty as well as her lover's destiny.

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New Year in Ping Wei

2005, Run Time: 30 minutes, Language: English and Mandarin Chinese (with subtitles), DVD

Celebrate Chinese New Year in a rural Chinese Village. Also known as the Spring Festival, New Year is the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar, a time when families reunite and mythical dragons dance through the night.

Narrated in both English and Mandarin (with subtitles) New Year in Ping Wei follows Liu Yen Twin and her family as they celebrate. From preparation of the family reunion dinner and the symbolic burning of paper money to firecrackers and fireworks, all the traditions of New Year are captured in this colorful sequel to ONE DAY IN PING WEI.

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Raise the Red Lantern

1991; Run Time: 125 minutes; Language: Mandarin Chinese; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; DVD

Director: Yimou Zhang
Actors: Li Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao, Qi Zhao

From Zhang Yimou (Hero) “China’s most daring and exciting director” (Los Angeles Times) and celebrated screenwriter Ni Zhen comes an Oscar®-nominated masterpiece of stark beauty and fatal intrigue. Originally banned in mainland China for its dark depiction of Chinese society, Raise the Red Lantern is “a film of astonishing beauty and terror” (Los Angeles Times) that will captivate you from start to finish.

In 1920s China, women had few options. So following the death of her father, Songlian (Gong Li, Memoirs of a Geisha), a beautiful nineteen-year-old college student agrees to marry a wealthy nobleman. She is to be wife number four ant his estate, where daily life revolves around an ancient family custom: the master raises a red lantern outside the house of the wife with whom he desires to spend the night. On the surface, there is harmony between the wives, but trapped inside their gilded cages, with nothing to do but compete for their husband’s favor, the four “sisters” are drawn into a web of petty rivalries that soon escalate into treachery…and tragedy.

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China from the Inside

2006; Run time: 4 hours; Language: English; DVD

Director: Jonathan Lewis

A KQED Public Television and Granada Production in Association with Kostyk Communications

China is rapidly becoming a world power, but much of the country and its people remain hidden to those outside its borders.   CHINA FROM THE INSIDE includes visits to temples in Tibet, border areas of Muslim Xinjiang, Communist Party meetings, a village election, court rooms, newspaper offices, a women’s labor camp, and a country wedding.  From these domains, viewers observe the difficulties of navigating politics and culture in this vast country.  In only four hours, viewers will be able to discern a China that few outside the country ever glimpse, a country of 1.3 billion people undergoing extraordinary growth while facing prodigious obstacles.

How does the Communist Party exert control over 1.3 billion Chinese?  Are village elections a chance for people to take a share in power?  Chinese people, from farmer to Minister, speak frankly about the problems the country faces and the ways forward.

China’s women are argued over at their weddings and have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Now many are beginning to fight for their rights and their futures.

China’s environment is in trouble, but solutions often seem as harsh as the problems. A third of the world uses water from China’s rivers, but rapid industrialization and climate change have led to bad air, polluted rivers and dire water shortages.

Filmed in Tibetan temples, newspaper offices and a labor camp, this final episode asks: what are the limits of freedom – and the threats to stability?

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Land of the Dragon

Pearl River Productions

LAND OF THE DRAGON is a 30-minute documentary that offers a rare glimpse of life inside China.

Our journey is hosted by 13-year old Liu Hui Ping. She acts as both tour guide and teacher, appearing on camera (and speaking in English) as she leads us through the Forbidden City and other historical sites.

From hutongs (traditional Chinese homes) to temples you'll see how people live their lives in Beijing, one of the busiest and fastest growing cities in the world.

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