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Chinese Cinema

From the 1930s Golden Age to the urgent, socially conscious cinema of Jia Zhangke, Chinese cinema contains many riches to discover.

This collection aims to bring previously unavailable classics of Chinese cinema such as Spring in a Small Town to a new audience, while also collecting the works of under-appreciated modern maestros such as Feng Xioagang.

"The glories of Chinese cinema are many, and are waiting to be explored."

Heather Stewart, Creative Director, BFI

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Chinese Cinema
View The Assassin
The Assassin
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The Assassin 2015 12

Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s mesmerising, visually stunning tale of love and honour was Sight and Sound magazine’s best film of 2015.

120 mins Taiwan Director. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

View Spring in a Small Town
Spring in a Small Town
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Spring in a Small Town 1948 U

Fei Mu’s newly restored 1948 masterpiece, a piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire, was once voted the greatest Chinese film ever made.

People's Republic of China Director. Fei Mu

View Yang ± Yin - Gender in Chinese Cinema
Yang ± Yin - Gender in Chinese Cinema
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Yang ± Yin - Gender in Chinese Cinema 1997

An inspirational and star-laden journey through Chinese cinema in the company of John Woo, Chen Kaige, Ang Lee and Tsui Hark.

80 mins Director. Stanley Kwan Kam-pang

View Behemoth
Behemoth
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Behemoth 2015

Zhao Liang’s extraordinary documentary is a visually spectacular missive from the forefront of China’s industrial explosion.

87 mins France Director. Zhao Ling

View The Grandmaster
The Grandmaster
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The Grandmaster 2013 15

Wong Kar-Wai’s lavish martial arts biopic tells the story of Ip Man, the legendary trainer who became Bruce Lee’s mentor.

108 mins People's Republic of China Director. Wong Kar-wai

View Kung Fu Jungle (Q&A)
Kung Fu Jungle  (Q&A)
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Kung Fu Jungle (Q&A) 2014

Martial arts icon Donnie Yen (Ip Man), Michelle Bai and director Teddy Chan on their new Hong Kong based martial arts thriller at its world premiere.

8 mins United Kingdom

View The Banquet
The Banquet
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The Banquet 2006 15

Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) stars is this lavish wuxia based on elements from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Ibsen’s Ghosts.

People's Republic of China Director. Feng Xiaogang

View Jackie Chan on Stunts, Hollywood and Bruce Lee (Q&A)
Jackie Chan on Stunts, Hollywood and Bruce Lee (Q&A)
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Jackie Chan on Stunts, Hollywood and Bruce Lee (Q&A) 2014

In an extensive 30-minute interview with longtime admirer Jonathan Ross, Jackie Chan discusses the changing nature of Chinese cinema over the course of his long career.

30 mins United Kingdom

View Feng Xiaogang in Conversation
Feng Xiaogang in Conversation
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Feng Xiaogang in Conversation 2014

Feng Xiaogang, the director of some of the all-time biggest films at the Chinese box office, discusses his career with Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Festivals and Cinemas.

76 mins United Kingdom

View A Touch of Sin
A Touch of Sin
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A Touch of Sin 2013 15

Jia Zhangke’s state-of-the-nation report on contemporary China is comprised of four stories about shocking acts of violence.

124 mins People's Republic of China Director. Jia Zhangke

View Jia Zhangke on A Touch of Sin
Jia Zhangke on A Touch of Sin
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Jia Zhangke on A Touch of Sin 2014

Director Jia Zhangke joins film critic Tony Rayns to talk about violence in A Touch of Sin, the themes of his previous work and his love of John Woo.

42 mins United Kingdom

View 24 City
24 City
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24 City 2008 U

Jia Zhangke mixes reminiscence and performance in his cool, measured, moving look at the changing fortunes of a Chinese factory-turned-shopping mall

112 mins People's Republic of China Director. Jia Zhangke

View Jia Zhangke & Walter Salles screentalk
Jia Zhangke & Walter Salles screentalk
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Jia Zhangke & Walter Salles screentalk 2015

The directors discuss Salles’ documentary Jia Zhangke: a Guy from Fenyang (2015) and their respective filmmaking approaches.

80 mins United Kingdom

View Mountains May Depart Q&A with Jia Zhangke
Mountains May Depart Q&A with Jia Zhangke
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Mountains May Depart Q&A with Jia Zhangke 2015

The director joins actor Zhao Tao to discuss their humane drama about a group of friends in a changing world.

17 mins United Kingdom

View Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang director Q&A
Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang director Q&A
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Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang director Q&A 2015

Jia Zhangke discusses the documentary about his life with its director, Walter Salles, and reflects on making films in China.

13 mins United Kingdom

View A Simple Life
A Simple Life
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A Simple Life 2011 PG

A wealthy film executive reconnects with the nanny who raised him, in a touching drama from the great humanist of the Hong Kong New Wave, Ann Hui.

Director. Ann Hui On-wah

View Ann Hui discusses A Simple Life (Q&A)
Ann Hui discusses A Simple Life (Q&A)
Watch for free 17 mins

Ann Hui discusses A Simple Life (Q&A) 2014

Director Ann Hui discusses her film - A Simple Life - with Tony Rayns, and looks back on her career.

17 mins United Kingdom

View Speechless
Speechless
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Speechless 2012 15

A mysterious, exotic and riveting drama about a nameless man discovered naked on a riverbank, who forms a bond with the hospital assistant who can communicate with him.

92 mins Director. Simon Chung

View Aftershock
Aftershock
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Aftershock 2010 15

China’s blockbuster director Feng Xiaogang scored his biggest box office hit with this staggering disaster film about a massive earthquake and its aftermath.

People's Republic of China Director. Feng Xiaogang

View Assembly
Assembly
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Assembly 2007 15

Following a brutal battle, a Chinese army captain wakes from a coma to discover his discredited regiment has been airbrushed from history, and sets out to restore his soldiers’ honour.

People's Republic of China Director. Feng Xiaogang

View Back to 1942
Back to 1942

Back to 1942 2012 15

With a cast that includes Adrien Brody, Tim Robbins and Fan Xu, Back to 1942 is an epic reconstruction of the deadly drought of 1942 that took its toll on central China's Henan province during the war against Japan

145 mins People's Republic of China Director. Feng Xiaogang

View The Founding of a Republic
The Founding of a Republic
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The Founding of a Republic 2009 12

Jet Li, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen appear together for the first time in the epic, star-studded story of the birth of modern China.

People's Republic of China Director. Han Sanping, Huang Jianxin

View Dearest (Q&A)
Dearest (Q&A)
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Dearest (Q&A) 2014

The film’s director reflects on his film about a child abduction and the many victims of China’s one-child policy.

16 mins United Kingdom

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