Movies & Documentaries  you should watch before visiting China

Last Emperor 1987

A winner of 9 Academy Awards. A British-Italian epic biographical drama directed by Bernardo Bertolucci about the life of the last Emperor of China, Puyi.

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Kundun 1997

A biographical film directed by Martin Scorses about the of life of Tenzin Gyatso; Tibet’s fourteenth and current Dalai Lama.

Available on Amazon

The Road Home 1999

Luo Yusheng returns to his home village for the funeral of his father. His mother insists that as per the ancient tradition, the coffin must be carried back to his native village. As the funeral is being prepared, Luo recalls the story of how his parent met and fell in love.

Available on Amazon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2000

In 18th century Qing Dynasty China famous warrior Li Mu Bai, tired of tracking his master’s killer, decides to give his sword to Mr. Te. Unfortunately, the item is stolen. Li Mu Bai decides to get it back.

Available on Amazon

Seven Years in Tibet 1997

In 1939 famous Austrian climber, Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt), sets off for an expedition to reach the summit of world Nanga Parbat. Due to the outbreak of Second World War, he cannot return home. During a forced stay in Tibet, he meets a young Dalai Lama.

Available on Amazon

The Painted Veil 2006

Period drama set in 1920’s. After discovering his wife (Naomi Watts) infidelity, bacteriologist Walter Fane (Edward Norton) as punishment forces her to accompany him to a cholera-stricken small village in a remote area of China. A story of love, betrayal, revenge and redemption.

 Available on Amazon

The story of china 2016

A six-part BBC documentary series, written and presented by British historian Michael Wood about the history of China from its ancient past to the modern day.

Available on Amazon

Morning Sun 2003

This documentary about China’s Cultural Revolution, a socio-political campaign   initiated by Mao Zedong as part of China’s social and political transformation in 1960 and ’70s. Its main goal was to preserve the ‘true’ Communist ideology by removing old ideas, culture, customs, and habits.

Last Train Home 2010

Documentary follows a Chinese couple of migrant workers as they embarked on their annual journey home for the New Year’s holidays. The film reveals the human cost of China’s economic rise.

It’s a girl 2012

Documentary film that reveals the issue of   female infanticide practice in modern China and India and other parts of the world. It also shed light on psychological aspect of what it means to be a woman in many parts of the world today.

Available on Amazon

Plastic China 2016

China is the world’s largest importer of plastic waste. Plastic China documents on the lives of two families who make their living recycling plastic waste imported from developed countries.

Available on Amazon

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 2012

Documentary film about the life and work China’s most famous international artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The film documents Weiwei’s preparations for one of the exhibitions, his contacts with relatives and clashes with the Chinese government.

Available on Amazon

Please Vote for Me 2007

Documentary follows candidates and elections for a 3 grade class monitor in a primary school in Wuhan, China. An interesting glimpse into China’s contemporary urban middle classes


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