Express Yourself!
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Express Yourself!

Chinese Movies for Your Watch List

Chinese films which should be added to your watch list.

I enjoy watching non-American or foreign films and TV shows. The movies must have English subtitles of course. Watching foreign films is both entertaining and educational. Before we had the Internet, my husband used to scour the foreign films section in the video rental store and rent movies for us to watch. Sometimes we checked out videos from the local public library. Thanks to the Internet, there are lots of films we can watch online, free streaming. Below are Chinese movies that you should add to your watch list if you haven’t seen them already; along with some related links and tweets which might enhance your understanding and appreciation.

#1 The King of Masks (1999)

Chinese Masks have long been an integral part of Chinese theater. The theatrical masks of Chinese opera were promoted by emperors and high court officials. As a result, they became a traditional art form and along with this tradition, came other traditions.

Many films are gems that get lost or buried. Even award-winning films like “The King of Masks”. It’s a foreign movie: Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles.

Time period is the 1930s. A master of an ancient Chinese art is growing old. He must pass on his skills to an heir. A male heir.
It’s tradition!

Unfortunately, he’s childless. In a desperate effort to honor the custom and maintain the trade and the tradition, he buys a young child. In China, poor children are often sold via a black market. He and the child develop a close relationship, however, a “complication” also develops.

“The King of Masks” is a wonderful and touching story.

#2 Pick Any Classic Chinese Movie Starring Gong Li

In an interview, Chow Yun Fat, who himself is a famous Chinese actor, was asked why he was happy to accept the lead role in the movie “Curse of the Golden Flower” (2006) and he responded with a huge smile saying “I really like Gong Li.” Gong Li is one of my favorite Chinese actresses and any movie she is in, whether she plays a major or a minor role, you will remember her.

The 5 best films of Gong Li, Chinese actress in the spotlight, starting with Red Sorghum, her debut feature and that of its director, Zhang Yimou | South China Morning Post

Top 10 Best Gong Li Movies | ChinaWhisper

If you can’t choose a Gong Li movie, then I suggest “Raise the Red Lantern” (1991) and “Farewell My Concubine” (1993).

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