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Films in Mandarin

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UNIFORM (Zhifu)
Director: Diao Yinan
China   |   2003   |   92 minutes
Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis Filmed on a shoestring budget in the city of Xi'an, Shaanxi province, this deceptively simple first feature perfectly illustrates a Chinese saying "the clothes enter before the person". A young tailor finds his life improving in a variety of ways when he - innocently at first - starts wearing a policeman's uniform left unclaimed in his family's laundry shop. Diao Yinan cleverly layers metaphors without elaborating, but the sly humor and undemonstrative narrative style allow the viewer to decipher the many secrets and lives being lived in contemporary Chinese society. Shot in video, adding a grainy, gritty look, this accomplished work typifies the style of the next generation of emerging Chinese filmmakers.

About the Director Diao Yinan was born in Xi'an, Shanxi Province, China, in 1969. He attended the Central Academy of Drama, where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in literature and screenwriting. From there he went on to collaborate on three screenplays: Spicy Love Soup (1998), Shower (1999) and All The Way (2001). As an actor, he has starred in Yu Lik Wai's All Tomorrow's Parties (2003). Uniform is Diao Yinan's directorial debut.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2005 film series.

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STOLEN LIFE
Director: Li Shaohong
China   |   2005   |   90 minutes
Madarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis A young girl is taken to live with her aunt and grandmother in Beijing. As an adolescent, Yanni is withdrawn and reclusive, believing that she has been abandoned by her parents, and that she has no control over either her life or her fate. The fact that her “family” doesn’t have much hope for her future only compounds her depression. Surprising everyone in her hostile household, Yanni is accepted to college. As she prepares to begin her new life, an encounter with a delivery boy triggers a series of unexpected events. Director Li Shaohong takes us, as viewers, on a walk through a discovery of not only life under the city, but also a realistic perspective on the human experience.


About the Director Li Shaohong was born in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China in 1955. As a teenager she served in the military, working in a hospital. She graduated from the Beijing Film Academy and is regarded as a member of the “fifth generation” of filmmakers in China. As one of the most innovative and best-known contemporary women in this generation, Li co-founded Beijing Rosat Film & TV Production Company. Her feature films include Bloody Morning (1990), Family Portrait (1992), Blush (1994), The Red Suit (2000), and Baober in Love (2004). Stolen Life won the Best Narrative Feature at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2006 film series.

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DAM STREET (Hong Yan)
Director: Li Yu
China   |   2005   |   93 minutes
Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In the early 1980s, Xiao Yun, a sixteen year-old girl living in small riverside town in China, discovers she is pregnant. The local community is stunned, her family loses face and she and her boyfriend are expelled from school. In the aftermath, her boyfriend leaves her, and she gives birth and is then forced to put her child up for adoption. Ten years later, her relationship with her family strained and ostracized by residents of the town, Xiao Yunn is reduced to working as a singer in a local song and dance troupe. And her only real companion is Xiao Yong, a fiercely affectionate boy who protects her from the critical eyes of the community until a marriage proposal discovers the limits of their friendship, and the depth of her unresolved past.

About the Director Li Yu was born in 1973 in Shangdong Province in Northern China. She earned a degree in Chinese literature and became one of the top TV hosts in China. After moving to Beijing she began working on documentaries, joining CCTV's (China Central Television) feature program “Life Space.” Her documentaries include Sisters (1999). Her first feature film, Fish and Elephant (2001) was internationally–acclaimed. Dam Street is her second feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2007 film series.

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LUXURY CAR (Jiang Cheng Xia Ri)
Director: Wang Chao
China   |   2006   |   88 minutes
Mandarin (Wuhanese), with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In this emotionally taut narrative, Li Qi Ming travels from his small village to the city of Wuhan, determined to fulfill his wife's last wish of seeing her son. But instead of finding his son, he discovers his daughter working as a karaoke bar escort, forcing him to come to terms with their long-estranged relationship and the tenuous future of his family. Director Wang Chao uses Li Qi Ming to represent the painful reality of thousands of parents who have lost contact with their children through rural exodus and political upheaval in China.

About the Director Wang Chao was born in Nanjing, China in 1964. In 1994, he received his university diploma from the Beijing Film Academy. After graduating, he worked for 5 years as a factory worker, writing poems in his spare time. From 1995 to 1998, he was the assistant to Chen Kaige, the director of Farewell My Concubine (1993) and The Emperor and the Assassin (1998). He has also been a cinema critic, specializing in foreign films. His previous feature films include The Orphan of Anyang (2001) and Night and Day (2004). Luxury Car is his third feature film.

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Featured in the Global Lens 2008 film series.


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GETTING HOME (Luo Ye Gui Gen)
Director: Zhang Yang
China   |   2007   |   101 minutes
Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In this soulful and humane comedy, Zhao, a middle-aged construction worker, struggles to fulfill a dying co-worker's last wish to be buried in China's Three Gorges region. Setting out with his colleague's body in tow, Zhao travels hundreds of miles across extraordinary countryside, encountering a number of colorful adventures and characters– and even discovering love in some unlikely quarters. Director Zhang Yang's humorous and moving tale of friendship offers a powerful, and sometimes slapstick, commentary on the value of community and human connectivity in modern China.

About the Director Zhang Yang was born in Beijing, China in 1967. In 1992, he graduated from the Central Theatre Academy. He then directed a theatrical production of Kiss of the Spider Woman and went on to direct over twenty underground music videos. His first feature film, Spicy Love Soup, swept the domestic Chinese awards and his second feature, Shower, won the FIPRESCI prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. Getting Home is his fifth feature film.Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD. Digibeta available upon request

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Featured in the Global Lens 2009 film series.

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THE SHAFT (Dixia De Tiankong)
Director: Zhang Chi
China   |   2008   |   98 minutes
Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis In a poor mining town in western China, the stories of a father and his two children intersect and intertwine, illuminating complicated relationships hidden beneath the community’s hardened exterior. Accused of an affair with her manager, the attractive daughter of the household finds herself spurned by her boyfriend and forced to accept an arranged marriage. Her brother dreams of being a singer, but after an unforeseen stint in prison, reluctantly heads into the mines like his father, who spends his days searching for the wife who left him many years ago. Writer-director Zhang Chi’s wise and poetic debut delicately expresses the turmoil of emotion and expectation wrought by a calloused and difficult existence.

About the Director Zhang Chi was born in Beijing, China in 1977. He studied film direction at the Central Academy of Drama, and served as the director of the Chinese national television company, CCTV, from 2000 to 2004. In 2008, he won China’s Golden Rooster Award for Best Screenplay for the film Tokyo Trial. The Shaft is his first feature film.

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DVD Release Date: September 27, 2011

Featured in the Global Lens 2010 film series.

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DOOMAN RIVER
Director: Zhang Lu
China   |   2009   |   89 minutes
Korean and Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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ON DVD: Spring/Winter 2013


Synopsis Writer-director Zhang Lu’s fascinating window into a rarely seen corner of rural China revolves around 12-year-old Chang-ho, living with his grandfather and mute sister along the frozen river-border with North Korea. Although fraught with unemployment and other tensions, his community seems sympathetic toward the Korean refugees fleeing famine and misery; Chang-ho even bonds over soccer with one young border-crosser who comes scavenging food for a sibling. But he soon turns on his new friend as suspicions mount against the illegal immigrants and his sister reels from unexpected aggression, provoking a quandary over his loyalties in an exquisitely detailed story of compassion and strife across an uneasy geopolitical border.


About the Director Zhang Lu was born in Jilin-Sheng, China in 1962. He studied Chinese literature at Yenben University and began writing poetry and novels in 1986. He made his feature debut with Tang Poetry in 2004, and his second feature film, Grain in Ear, was invited to the 2005 Critics’ Week in Cannes, where it won the ACID/CCAS Support Award. Dooman River is his fifth feature film.


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DVD Release Date: October 2012


Featured in the Global Lens 2011 film series.

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BEIJING FLICKERS (You-Zhong)
Director: Zhang Yuan
China   |   2012   |   96 minutes
Mandarin, with subtitles in English
$24.95
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Synopsis San Bao is a young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth, having just lost his job, his apartment and the woman he loves (who’s left him for a richer man). Even Happiness, his dog, has run away from him. Lovelorn, self-destructive and desperately aimless, San Bao nevertheless has moments of euphoria amid his own despair, as he roams the sleek, shifting city with other soulful, cash-poor dreamers and misfits. Such heavenly losers form the vital spirit of Beijing in acclaimed director Zhang Yuan’s gorgeously gritty, angst-ridden portrait of youthful disaffection and perseverance in the teeth of heartbreak, ruthless inequality and unfeeling ambition.


About the Director Zhang Yuan was born in Nanjing, China in 1963. He studied cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy and began directing feature films in 1980. In 1994, TIME Magazine selected him as one of the 100 Young Leaders of the Next Century. A leading filmmaker of China's Sixth Generation, his second feature, Beijing Bastards, received a Special Mention by the Official Jury at the Locarno Film Festival in 1993, and his fourth feature, Sons, won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival
Rotterdam in 1996. Beijing Flickers is his eleventh feature film.


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Featured in the Global Lens 2013 film series.

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8 Item(s)

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