HISTORICAL MOVIES: CHINA

 

 

II.2.  CHINA  (UNIFICATION OF CHINA).  Back to Chapter II  Back to Contents

western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BC)

eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BC) 

Warring States period (475-221 BC)

 Muk gong (A Battle of Wits) (2006)  -- film set amid the Warring States period 

Qin Dynasty (221- 207 BC)

Jing ke ci qin wang (The Emperor and the Assassin) (1998) -  221 B.C. unification of China

The Emperor's Shadow (Qin Song) (1999) -   unification of China

Hero (2004) -- four assassins plot to assassinate the King of Qin (who has the potential to unify the warring states into a nation)

Qin yong (A Terra-Cotta Warrior) (1990) – in the Qin Dynasty the emperor builds an army of terra-cotta warriors  (currently unavailable)

Han Dynasty (206 BC - 8 AD)

Xi chu bawang (The Great Conqueror's Concubine) (1994)  --  Xian Yu and Liu Pang depose Qin Dynasty

Xin Dynasty (9-25 AD)

Han Dynasty continuation/Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220)

Chi bi (aka Red Cliff; Battle of Red Cliff) (2009)  --  Prime Minister Cao Cao plans to usurp the Han dynasty throne after he defeats any possible allies of the Han Emperor, but that will prove a difficult task (winter of 208/209)

 

Three Kingdoms Period (220-280)

Saam gwok dzi gin lung se gap (Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon) (2008)  --  story of a fantastic warrior of the Shu Kingdom and his less accomplished friend who keep on fighting only to find themselves going around in circles

Jin Dynasty (265-420)

Sixteen Kingdoms Period, 304-439   --  collection of numerous short-lived sovereign states in China and its neighboring areas

Northern Wei Dynasty, 386-534 (not one of the Sixteen Kingdoms)

Mulan Joins the Army (1939) – during the Northern Wei dynasty, a young woman disguises herself as a man in order to take her father's place in the army

Mulan (1998)  --  the Disney version of the Mulan story 

Tang Dynasty (618-665)

Zhou Dynasty (665-705)

Empress Wu Zetian (1939)  --  Chinese biopic of the empress who interrupted the Tang Dynasty (618-907) with her behind her husband and sons in the First Zhou Dynasty (665-690) and in her own right in the Second Zhou Dynasty (690–705)

Tian di ying xiong (Warriors of Heaven and Earth) (2003)  --  an imperial agent has to escort a caravan carrying an extremely valuable item to the capital, while fighting off the Turks and their allies; action drama;year 700 in the Göktürk Empire which controlled the lucrative Silk Road trade

Tang Dynasty continuation (710-907)

Warriors of Heaven and Earth (2003)  --  an imperial agent has to escort a caravan carrying an extremely valuable item to the capital, while fighting off the Turks and their allies

Yōkihi (Princess Yang Kwei-fei) (1955) – a poor young woman is used by General An Lushan in his rebellion plans against Emperor Xuanzong (ruled 712-756)

Five Dynasties and Six Kingdoms Period

Song Dynasty (960-1279)

Dun-Huang (The Silk Road) (1988)  --  in western China in 1026, students are shanghaied by crown prince Li Yuanhao of Xi Xia, who wants to control the Silk Road

Shi si nu ying hao (The Fourteen Amazons) (1972) –  Sung dynasty warriors defending against invading Mongolians (with coverage of Yang Family tragedy)

Shi er jin pai (Twelve Gold Medallions) (1970)  -- ditto

960-1125 Song Dynasty (960-1127 Northern Song; 947-1125 Liao Dynasty; 1127-1279 Southern Song)

1125-1234 Jin Dynasty

1234-1279  Transitional Period of Growing Mongolian Control

1279-1368 Yuan Dynasty  (Mongolian Control)

Po veleniyu Chingiskhana (By the Will of Genghis Khan) (2009) – 

Genghis Khan - Historical TV Series (10 DVD Set) (2007)  --

Aoki Ōkami: chi hate umi tsukiru (aka Genghis Khan: To the Ends of Earth and Sea;  The Blue Wolf: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea) (2007)  – a Japanese-Mongolian depiction of the life of Genghis Khan

The Mongol (2007) – Genghis Khan's slow rise to power

The Fall of Otrar (2002) – Genghis Khan  

X Genghis Khan (1998)  --  Genghis Khan

Gibel Otrara (The Fall of Otrar) (1991) – the incident in Otrar that unleashed Genghis Khan and his hordes

Genghis Khan  (1965)  -- 1206-1227

The Mongols (1961) --  Jack Palance plays the role of the son of Genghis Khan with Anita Ekberg as his mistress  

Conqueror (1956) --  Mongols under Genghis Khan vs. Tartars and others

Marco Polo (2007)  --  the adventures, including love ones, of Marco Polo

Marco Polo (1998) -- 1295 with Kublai Khan, opening up the east to trade with the west. 

Marco Polo: Haperek Ha'aharon (Marco Polo: The Missing Chapter) (1996) – Polo returns to Venice in 1295 to find Venice and Genoa at war; he is soon imprisoned by the Genoans and used as a political pawn

Marco Polo (1982)  --  tv mini-series about Marco Polo

Marco Polo (1962) -- 

The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938) -- 1275, in China

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

 

IMPERIALISM: CHINA & FRENCH INDO-CHINA  

Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Musa (The Warrior) (2001)  --  1375, Korean Koryo warriors band together to help save a Princess of the Ming dynasty from the Mongols of the former Yuan Dynasty

Qing Dynasty (1644-1912)

Dream of the Red Chamber (1962) –  semi-autobiographical story of Cao family in the 18th c. during the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty (1644-1912) founded by the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro in Manchuria

Hong lou meng (A Dream of Red Mansions) (1962)  --  musical of the fall of the 18th-century clan  ($68)

Tai Pan  (1986)  --  the First Opium War (1839-1842)

Yapian zhanzheng (The Opium War) (1997)  – 1839, British opium merchants to be executed in Guangzhou, China; start of the Opium War  (currently unavailable)

Lin zexu (The Opium Wars) (1959) – young man wants to end the trade in opium partly because his relatives are addicts

Qing quo ging cheng (The Empress Dowager) (1975)  --  Empress Dowager of the Qing Dynasty who was the de facto ruler of China, 1861-1908

Tau ming chong (The Warlords) (2007) --  Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), a large-scale revolt against the Qing Government by the army and civil administration

Noroshi wa Shanghai ni agaru (aka Signal Fires of Shanghai) (1944)  --  Taiping Rebellion

Jia wu feng yun (Naval Battle of 1894) (1962)  --  naval battles of the First Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895)

55 Days at Peking (1963) -- 1898-1901 Boxer Rebellion in China

Da taijian Li Lianying (Li Lianying, the Imperial Eunuch) (1991)  --  Li Lianying was a eunuch who held enormous power in the waning days of the Empress Dowager of the Qing Dynasty

Hong he gu (Red River Valley; aka The Tale of the Sacred Mountain) (1999)   --  British incursion into Tibet in 1904

Xiang xiang gong zhu (aka Princess Fragrance) (1987)  --  kung-fu movie about an uprising in Qing dynasty China (17/18th Century AD)

Wo zhe yi bei zi (This Life of Mine) (1950) – Beijing policeman and his family experience a very rough 50 years of life in China, 1900-1950

Republic of China (1911-1949)

The Soong Sisters (1997)  --  the lives of three sisters who all married among the highest rank of officials in the Republic of China (1911-1949). 

Guo fu Sun Zhong Shan yu kai guo ying xiong (The Story of Dr. Sun Yat-sen) (1986) – Sun Yat-sen

Ye Ming (Road to Dawn) (2007)  --  segment of the life of revolutionary  Sun Yat-sen

The Sand Pebbles (1966) -- 1926 China; an American gun boat, Chiang Kai-shek against the warlords and the move toward civil war  

Yego zovut Sukhe-Bator (His Name Is Sukhe-Bator) (1942) – 1919, commander-in-chief of the Mongolian Peoples' Revolutionary Army defeated  China's attempt to retake Mongolia

Gada Meilin (2002)  --  1931 in Inner Mongolia, Mongolian national hero Ga da mei lin who led Mongolians to protect  their homeland from the provincial government

Shanghai Triad (1995  )--  Chinese singer gets mixed up with gangsters in 1930s Shanghai

The Lover (1992)   --  a relationship between a young French teen-ager and wealthy Chinese heir in French Indochina causes problems

Indochine (1992) -- political upheaval in French Indochina in the 1930s to the defeat of the French in 1954

 

 

 

World War II IN CHINA

 The Last Emperor  (1987)  -- Pu Yi, emperor of China & emergence of Communist China

Rakuyō (The Setting Sun ) (1992)  --  Japanese agent in Manchuria gets money for Japanese war effort there by stealing and selling opium

Dansou no reijin (2008)  --  Yoshiko Kawashima (1907-1948) a Manchu princess raised in Japan who became a spy for the Japanese in Manchukuo

Ba dao lou zi (Seven Man Army) (1976)  --  seven Chinese soldiers hold off 20,000 Japanese at a battle at the Great Wall of China

Story of a Prostitute (1965)  --  love story set during Sino-Japanese War between a soldier and a comfort woman

Hei tai yang 731 (Men Behind the Sun) (1988)  --  Japanese atrocities in the prison camp Manchu 731

Hei tai yang: Nan Jing da tu sha (Black Sun: the Nanking Massacre) (1995)  --  Nanking Massacre, Dec. 1937

Saam gwok dzi gin lung se gap (The Children of Hung Shi (aka Bitter Sea and Children of the Silk Road)) (2008) --  British journalist in Japan during Nanking Massacre

Nanjing 1937 (aka Don't Cry Nanking)  (1995) --  family with Chinese husband and Japanese wife caught in the Nanking Massacre

The Diary (2007)  --  based around the Nanking Massacre

La bei ri ji (John Rabe) (2009)  --  a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese during the Nanjing massacre

Hei tai yang 731 (Man Behind the Sun) (1988)  --  in Squadron 731 Japanese troops torture and experiment on Chinese and Russian POWs  ($70)

Ziri (Purple Sunset) (2001)  --  Chinese film about a Russian female soldier ,a  Chinese civilian and a Japanese school girl having to work together to get out of a forest, despite their mutual distrust

Jian qiao ying lie zhuan (Heroes of the Eastern Skies) (1977) – outnumbered Chinese Air Force in increasingly outdated American aircraft fights the Japanese air force ($185)

Dragon Seed (1944)   --  Chinese villagers try to adopt a peaceful attitude toward their Japanese conquerors, but not Jade Tan (with Katherine Hepburn)

Hong gao liang (Red Sorghum) (1988) --  a Chinese community rises up against the Japanese after they cut down their sorghum field

 

 

Post-War China

Farewell, My Concubine (1993) spanning warlord era to past the cultural revolution in China

To Live (1994) --  a married couple experience the effects of the Communist victory, the Great Leap Forward, and The Cultural Revolution

The Blue Kite (1994)  --  horrible effects of the Cultural Revolution  

Tian yu: The Sent Down Girl (1998)  --  in the Cultural Revolution, teen-aged girl condemned to manual labor in remote area of China

Dr. Bethune (1990) --  life of Canadian Doctor Norman Bethune who became a hero in China during Mao Tse-Tung's rise to power.

Bethune (1977)   --  Canadian doctor who aided Mao Tse-Tung's army

Last Emperor (Bertolucci)--  the Qing Dynasty falls to nationalists, and the emperor later becomes a pawn in Japanese-controlled Manchuria. 

Not One Less (1999)--a rural Communist confronts post-Deng modernization efforts in contemporary China.

The Story of Qiu Ju (1993)  --   woman battles frustrating court system in modern China.

 

 

Tibet:

Kundun (1997) -- Dalai Lama resists Chinese take-over of Tibet; 1959

 

The Korean War

Truman (1995) -- Harry S. Truman, president, 1945-1952

Give 'Em Hell, Harry! (1975) --  President Harry S. Truman

Field of Honor (1986)  --  a Dutch mercenary sergeant in 1951 in the Korean War

Hell in Korea (1956) --  U.N. patrol fights Chinese troops

MacArthur (1977)  -- leader in Korean War, fired by Truman

Inchon! (1982) --  brilliant but risky move by MacArthur in Korean War turns the tide for awhile

The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1955) -- air war in the Korean War

All the Young Men (1960) -- Korean War

Pork Chop Hill (1959) -- Korean War

Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)   -- air war in Korea

Prisoner of War (1954) -- mistreatment of American P.O.W.s during Korean War

 

Post-War China  Back to Chapter XIII  Back to Contents

Communist Rule (1949-today)

The Soong Sisters (1997)  --  the lives of three sisters who all married among the highest rank of officials in the Republic of China (1911-1949)

Ji jie hao (Assembly) (2007)  --  set in 1948 during the Chinese Civil War

Zui hou de gui zu (The Last Aristocrats) (1989)  --  Four Chinese women students in the USA are stranded when the Communists take over Shanghai in 1948

Xin hai shuang shi (The Battle for the Republic of China) (1981)  --

Kaiguo dadian (The Birth of New China)  (1989) --  April 1949, People's Liberation Army under Mao Zedong and Zhu De take Nanjing & the KMT regime falls; Chiang Kai-Shek flees to Taiwan October 1949

Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst (1957) --  1949, British warship Amethyst blocked by Communist Chinese shore batteries on the Yangtse River

Wo de fu qin mu qin (The Road Home) (1999)  --  country girl  & a young teacher fall in love during the 1958 Anti-Rightist Movement reaction against the Hundred Flowers Campaign

China Cry (1990) – a barely Christian upper-class woman survives the anti-religious excesses of communism in China

Ba wang bie ji (Farewell, My Concubine) (1993) --  spanning warlord era to past the Cultural Revolution in China

Huozhe (To Live) (1994) --  a married couple experience the effects of the Communist victory, the Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution

Lan feng zheng (The Blue Kite) (1994)  --  horrible effects of the Cultural Revolution  

Tian yu (The Sent Down Girl) (1998)  --  in the Cultural Revolution, teen-aged girl sent to a remote area of China and abandoned

Xiao cai feng (Balzac and the Little Seamstress) (2002)  -- two young men sent for re-education in the Cultural Revolution fall in love with the same mountain woman

Fu rong zhen (Hibiscus Town) (1986)  --  a young woman lives through the Cultural Revolution

Yangguang Canlan de Rizi (In the Heat of the Sun) (1994)  --  young people roam the streets because the Cultural Revolution takes up most of their parents' time

Mei you hang biao de he liu (River Without Buoys) (1984)   --  during the Cultural Revolution, timber rafters try to rescue a former District Director from a labor camp

Romance on Lushan Mountain (or Love on Lushan Mountain or A Love Story at Lushan Mountain) (1980) --  the Cultural Revolution makes love very difficult for a young couple

Xiang ri kui (Sunflower) (2005)  --  following a family harmed by the Cultural Revolution for thirty years

Dr. Bethune (1990) --  life of Canadian Doctor Norman Bethune who became a hero in China during Mao Tse-Tung's rise to power.

Bethune (1977)   --  Canadian doctor who aided Mao Tse-Tung's army

Last Emperor 1987) --  the Qing Dynasty falls to nationalists, and the emperor later becomes a pawn in Japanese-controlled Manchuria directed by Bertolucci. 

Zhantai (Platform) (2000)  --  a performance troupe changes with the changes in the political climate in China

Yi ge dou bu neng shao (Not One Less) (1999)--a rural Communist confronts post-Deng modernization efforts in contemporary China.

Qiu Ju da guan si (The Story of Qiu Ju) (1992)  --   woman battles frustrating court system in modern China.

Chinese Box (1997)  --  a love story set against the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong

Taiwan:

Dao cao ren (Strawman) (1987) – farming brothers in trouble during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan

X Po lun tai (Flat Tire) (1999)  --  talk of film makers touches on political reality in Taiwan

X Bei qing cheng shi (A City of Sadness) (1989) --  first part of the trilogy about modern Taiwan history;  average Taiwanese family during years 1945-1949

Xi meng ren sheng (In the Hands of a Puppet Master) (1993) --  second part of the trilogy about Taiwan history; Japanese use street puppets for propaganda making it tough for a Chinese puppet master

Hao nan hao nu (Good Men, Good Women) (1995)  -- third part of the trilogy about modern Taiwan; a couple returns to China as part of the anti-Japanese movement & are arrested as communists when they go back to Taiwan ($50)

Tibet:

Seven Years in Tibet (1997) -- mountain-climber befriended by 14 year old Dalai Lama during WWII

Kundun (1997) -- Dalai Lama resists Chinese take-over of Tibet; 1949

Little Buddha (1993) -- search for the next Dalai Lama

 

 

 

 

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