The Sewickley Public Library celebrates Destination China throughout the month of September 2008. All the library’s departments have planned a variety of programs to showcase the rich cultural heritage of China. We invite you to come along on our journey of exploration and discovery!
Chinese Language Films
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Set in the early 1970s during the later stages of China’s Cultural Revolution, two city-bred teenage best friends are sent to a backward mountainous region for Maoist re-education. Cast:Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, Ye Liu, Shuangbao Wang, Zhijun Cong. Based on the novel by Sijie Dai.Chinese language tracks, with optional English subtitles. Not rated.
The Blue Kite Told from the perspective of a young boy, Tietou, this film traces the fate of a Beijing family and their neighbors through the political and social upheavals in China in 1950’s and 60’s. Mandarin language track with English subtitles. Cast: Lu Liping, Yi Tian, Zhang Wenyao, Chen Xiaoman, Pu Cunxin, Li Xuejian, Guo Baochang, Zong Ping. Not rated.
Chungking Express Two interwined romantic tales take place inside the Ch‘ung-ch‘ing high-rise shopping center in downtown Hong Kong: A policeman falls in love with a snack bar waitress while a house detective gets involved with a female drug dealer. In Chinese with English subtitles. Cast: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung, Faye Wang. Rated PG-13.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Set in 19th-century China, two master warriors are faced with their greatest challenge when the treasured Green Destiny sword is stolen. Mandarin or English language tracks, English subtitles. Cast: Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhan Ziyi, Chang Chen, Lung Sihung, Cheng Pei Pei. MPAA Rating: PG13.
Dim Sum A Chinese immigrant widow faces the New Year with apprehension after it is predicted that it would be the year she dies. Her list of things to do, which includes seeing her daughter get married and visiting China one last time, soon comes into focus. Cantonese or English dialogue with optional English subtitles. Cast: Laureen Chew, Kim Chew, Victor Wong, Joan Chen.
Eat Drink Man Woman A retired master chef and widower is worried about the future of his three unmarried daughters who are skeptical about marriage. Yet he himself surprises them with his secret love affair with a young woman many years his junior. In Mandarin Chinese with English, French & Spanish subtitles. Cast: Sihung Lung, Kuei-mei Yang, Chien-lien Wu, Yu-wen Wang, Winston Chao, Ah-leh Gua, Sylvia Chang.
Endless Way As he comes of age, Ah Ming must begin a life of endless labor to bring sacred water to his family. Forced into an arranged marriage with a young girl from a neighboring village, he must forsake his true love, Ah Shui. Unable to cope with the harsh routine that each villager must endure, Ah Ming’s wife leaves, never to return, and the long suffering Ah Shui steps forth to care for Ah Ming and his ailing mother, sharing their pain and grief. Chinese (Mandarin) dialogue with optional English subtitles. Cast: Chen Chuang, Xia Lu, Du Jing, Liao Guanzhen. Not rated.
Fallen Angels Set in the neon-washed underworld of present day Hong Kong, this story intertwines two exhilarating tales of love and isolation. In Chinese with optional English subtitles. Cast: Leon Lai Ming, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Charlie Young, Michele Reis, Karen Mok. Originally produced as a motion picture in 1995.
Farewell My Concubine Story that spans more than 50 years in the lives of two men at the Peking Opera, friends since childhood, and the woman who comes between them. Also an absorbing drama of the period in Chinese history from the warlord era through the Cultural Revolution. In Chinese with English subtitles. Cast: Leslie Cheung, Zhang Fengyi, Gong Li. Based on the novel by Lilian Lee. Rated R.
Going to School with Dad on My Back Based on a true story, Going to School with Dad on my Back focuses on the selfless acts a family must endure to ensure the survival of their brightest, and the hope of a better future for all of China. Chinese dialgoue with optional Chinese or English subtitles. Cast: Yan Danchen, Jiang Hualin, Qiang Zhao. Based on a true story.
Hero Long ago, China was divided into seven kingdoms all fighting for supremacy. The King of Qin was most determined to become the first emperor of China. Though many tried to assassinate him, only three inspired fear. The King promised endless wealth and power to anyone who defeats his would-be murderers. No results come until ten years later, when a man called Nameless brought the weapons of the three assassins to the Qin King’s palace. Nameless claimed to be an expert swordsman who had defeated all three warriors and had to tell his story to the King. Cast: Jet Li, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Maggie Man-Yuk, Zhang Ziyi, Chen Dao Ming, Donnie Yen. Mandarin dialogue, with optional English subtitles. MPAA rating: PG-13
House of Flying Daggers During the reign of the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called “The House of the Flying Daggers” rises and opposes the government. Leo is a police officer who sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the “Flying Daggers” organization. Leo ends up arresting Mei, only to have Jin break her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem. Chinese dialogue, dubbed English or dubbed French dialogue, English or French subtitles. Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Song Dandan. Rated: PG13.
The Iron Monkey The legendary Iron Monkey teams up with a young girl to battle corrupt and greedy government officials in ancient China. Rated: PG-13. Cast: Donnie Yen, Yu Rong Guang, Jean Wang, Tsang Sue Man. Original Chinese language track and English language track.
Legend of the Black Scorpion Scheming royals and other officials seek to conquer empires and consolidate power to form a single omnipotent dynasty. Meanwhile, a legendary empress who has the fighting skills unparalleled by any man, harbors forbidden desires for her stepson. Set in the Age of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, tells the story of a royal court in turmoil including forbidden love, deceit, revenge, overpowering beauty, and greed. Mandarin and English dialogue, with optional English subtitles. Not rated.
Lust, Caution Set against the backdrop of Japanese occupied Shanghai in 1942, a young woman finds herself swept up in a radical plot to assassinate a ruthless and secretive intelligence agent. As she immerses herself in her role as a cosmopolitan seductress, she becomes entangled in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue, love and betrayal. In Mandarin, with optional French or Spanish subtitles. Cast: Tony Leung, Tang Wei, Joan Chen, Wang Leehom. Based on the short story Se, Jie by Eileen Chang. Rated R.
Mongolian Ping Pong A ping pong ball, found floating in a stream, becomes the source of wonderment for three young boys who live in the remote grasslands of Mongolia, a magnificent landscape little changed since the time of Genghis Khan. In Mongolian; with optional English subtitles. Cast: Hurichabilike, Dawa, Geliban, Yidexinnaribu, Badema, Jinlaowu, Wurina, Buhebilke, Sarengaowa, Dugema, Jirimu.
Raise the Red Lantern In the 1920s an educated young Chinese woman is given to a feudal nobleman as the newest of his many wives. She must adjust to this confined, traditional life and to her resident predecessors. Cast: Gong Li, Ma Jingwu, He Caifei, Cad Cuifeng. Based on the novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong. Mandarin with English, simplified and traditional Chinese subtitles. MPAA Rating: PG.
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles Takada is an aging Japanese fisherman who has been estranged from his son for many years. When the son is diagnosed with terminal cancer his daughter-in-law, Rie, summons him to the hospital. When his son refuses to see him, Rie gives him a videotape about the work his son was doing on a documentary film in a remote region of China’s Yunnan province. Still troubled by the relationship, Takada decides to go to China and complete his son’s work in part to develop an understanding of his son, and in part to do something for him. Once in China a series of obstacles and relationships bring him unexpectedly closer to both an understanding of himself and of his son. In Chinese, Portuguese or French with English, French, Spanish or Portuguese subtitles. Cast: Takakura Ken, Terajima Shinobu, Li Jiamin, Jiang Wen, Qiu Lin. Rated PG.
The Story of Qiu Ju An ordinary, courageous woman in a small villlage fights against the system in her quest for justice. Mandarin language track with English subtitles. Cast: Gong Li, Lei Lao Sheng, Liu Pei Qi, Ge Zhi Jun, Ye Jun, Yang Liu Chun. Based on the novel “The Wan family’s lawsuit” by Chen Yuan Bin. Rated PG
The Story of the Weeping Camel In the Gobi Desert of Chinese Mongolia, a family of nomads, who assist in the birth of its camel herd, face a crisis when one white calf is rejected by its mother. With all hope lost, the family sends its two young boys on a journey to a far-off village to fetch a musician capable of performing a magical ceremony. In Mongol with English subtitles. Rated PG.Documentaries
China Revealed Get a fresh perspective on China one of the world’s richest cultures as you hear individual life stories told through the eyes of the locals. Insightful storytelling and spectacular photographic techniques brings to life the fascinating and complex contemporary world of one of the greatest nations on earth. In one of the few times in its 5000 year history – the oldest most populous nation opens its doors to the rest of the world. The economics of Feudalism and Communism are out and Capitalism is in. Old walls are being torn down and a futuristic landscape of glass and steel is shooting up in its place. Exploring where tradition meets modernity follow the dreams of a 12-year-old Olympic hopeful then join rice farmers tilling land their ancestors have worked for 18 centuries. Using the latest generation of hi-definition cameras and effects techniques see China like you’ve never seen it before. It’s a visual delight delving deep into the people and places of the oldest civilization on the planet.
China’s Lost Girls This National Geographic Special explored the bias against girls that exists in China, where they are commonly aborted, abandoned, or killed, and the practice of adoption of these unwanted children by Americans. Chinese native girls who have been adopted by American couples relate their experiences. Hosted by Lisa Ling.
Chop Socky Offers an in-depth look at Hong Kong’s film legacy and its influence on global cinema, from its earliest beginnings to the latest big-budget epics. In English with Chinese dialog sequences. Narrator: Mark Kaufmann; featuring: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, John Woo, Bruce Lee. Originally produced as a television program titled Cinema Hong Kong : King Fu in 2003. MPAA rating: Not rated.
Found in China: a Documentary A group of six Midwestern families with Chinese adoptive daughters take a heritage trip to China. The documentary focuses on the 9- to 13-year old girls and their feelings about being adopted as they learn about the culture of their homeland and the circumstances of their adoption.
Shanghai Ghetto The incredible story of thousands of Jews and their dramatic escape from the Nazis to China during World War II.
Wild China: a Land of History, Mystery and Extraordinary Diversity Journey across China from the peaks of the Himalayas to the barren steppe, the sub-Arctic to the tropical islands, through deserts both searingly hot and mind-numbingly cold and see a dazzling array of mysterious, beautiful, wild and rare creatures. Narrated by Bernard Hill.Disc One: Heart of the Dragon, Shangri-La and Tibet. Disc Two: Beyond the Great Wall, Land of the Panda and Tides of Change.Travel
Destination China In this Pilot Guide Travel film viewers will attend a traditional Long Horn Mio ceremony, visit the Huangguoshu Waterfalls, the largest in Asia, visit a silk factory in Suzhou, the silk capital of China, and attend the temple fair celebrating the end of the silk harvest. The film ends with a walk among the 8,000 terracotta warriors built to guard to tomb of China’s first emperor, Emperor China. Not Rated.
SmartTravels Pacific Rim: Shanghai Two episodes of the television series SmartTravels Pacific Rim. Follows Rudy Maxa on tours of Shanghai and Hong Kong. Discusses popular tourist attractions and provides historical background and practical information.Films Set in China
The Amazing Panda Adventure On a trek into the lush bamboo forests, Ryan is unexpectedly separated from his father. With the help of a young Chinese girl, he aims to bring to safety a baby panda that he’s boldly taken away from heartless poachers. They’d better move fast, however: the poachers are coming after them and the baby panda cannot survive much longer without its mother. Cast: Stephen Lang, Yi Ding, Ryan Slater. Rated PG.
The Forbidden Kingdom A discovery made by a kung fu-obsessed American teen sends him on an adventure to China, where he joins up with a band of martial arts warriors. Cast: Collin Chou, Liu Yifei, Li Bing Bing, Michael Angarano, Jackie Chan. Rated PG-13
Home Beyond the Sun The story of one woman’s desperate effort to help an eight-year-old orphan girl escape poverty and oppression in Mainland China.
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness Based on the true-life story of Gladys Aylward, an English missionary that led a group of children through war-torn China in the 1930’s. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Robert Donat, Curt Jurgens. Based on the book The Small Woman by Alan Burgess. Rated PG.
The Invincible Iron Man While raising the ruins of a long-buried Chinese kingdom, billionaire inventor Tony Stark digs up far more than he bargained for. He unleashes an age-old prophecy that foretells the resurrection of the Mandarin, the emperor of China’s darkest and most violent dynasty. In order to confront destructive forces, Tony creates an armored suit infused with high-tech weaponry. Marvel animated features. Voices: Marc Worden, Gwendolyn Yeo, Rodney Saulsberry, Elisa Gabrielli, John McCook, Fred Tatasciore. Rated PG-13
The Last Emperor The true story of Pu Yi, who, at the age of 3, toddled to the Imperial Dragon Throne to become “Lord of 10,000 Years,” China’s last emperor. Cast: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O’Toole, Ying Ruocheng. Not Rated.
The Painted Veil Set in the 1920s. A young English couple, Walter a middle class doctor and Kitty, an upper-class woman, get married for all the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai. Kitty falls in love with someone else. When Walter discovers her infidelity, in an act of vengeance, he accepts a job in a remote village in China that is being ravaged by a deadly epidemic. He takes his wife along and their journey brings meaning to their relationship and gives them purpose in one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth. Cast: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Diana Rigg. Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Rated PG-13
The White Countess Set in 1930’s Shanghai, a blind American diplomat develops a curious relationship with a young Russian refugee who works odd and sometimes illicit jobs to support members of her dead husband’s aristocratic family. Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave, Hiroyuki Sanada, Allan Corduner, Ying Da, Madeleine Daly, Lee Pace, Madeleine Potter, Luoyong Wang, John Wood. Rated PG-13.Chinese Heritage
Combination Platter Kitchen mayhem, irate customers and potential romance unfolds as Robert, an illegal immigrant working at a Chinese restaurant in New York as a waiter, desperately searches for a way to stay in the United States. He reluctantly agrees to meet an American woman, Claire, with the hopes of marrying to obtain a green card. Will Robert obtain his green card before immigration catches up with him? Chinese and English dialogue, with optional English subtitles. Cast: Jeffrey Lau, Coleen O’Brien, Lester “Chit-Man” Chan, Colin Mitchell, Kenneth Lu, Thomas K. Hsiung.
Double Happiness Jade must choose between family and personal happiness. Her parents want her to marry a successful Chinese man and she wants to make her own decisions. When she falls in love with a white university student, the façade of the perfect Chinese daughter begins to crack. A story about pursuing your dreams while living up to everybody else’s. Cast: Sandra Oh, Stephen M.D. Chang, Alannah Ong, Donald Fong, Frances You. Rated PG-13.
The Joy Luck Club Follows the story of four lifelong friends, whose lives are filled with joy and heartbreak, and shows how their experiences have affected the hopes and dreams they hold for each of their children. Cast: Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, France Nuyen, Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, Ming-Na Wen, Michael Paul Chan, Andrew McCarthy, Christopher Rich, Russell Wong, Vivian Wu. Based on the novel by Amy Tan. In English and Chinese with English subtitles. Rated R.
Smile Lin lives in a world of quiet hardship in China, longing to live without fear or shame. Katie lives in a world of pampered ease in Malibu and wants something new and challenging in her life. When these two come together, their lives are forever changed. Cast: Mika Boorem, Luoyong Wang, Beau Bridges, Cheri Oteri, Linda Hamilton, Shuai Chi, Jia Song, Jonathan Trent, Erik von Detton, Yi Ding, Sean Astin. MPAA rating: PG-13