10 Chinese Historical Movies

Monday, February 28 by Mr. Anonymous

China has a rich complex history yielding some great stories for the big screen and as such, here is a list of 10 Chinese historical movies. Historical films are very absorbing, primarily because their stories and characters are rooted in truth. Chinese history in particular has been very well represented on film. Over the years, some of these movies have gone down in history as some of the greatest motion pictures to have ever been filmed. Here is a list of 10 Chinese Historical Movies.

  1. "Fearless." Although presented as a Wushu Martial Arts epic, the story discusses nationalism in China against the backdrop of Western Imperialism and Japanese manipulation in the years preceding the birth of the Republic of China.
  2. "Hero." Another film that is commercially regarded as an action movie, this story concerns the assassination attempt of the King of Qin in 227 BC, as orchestrated by Jing Ke, represented here in a character portrayed by Jet Li.
  3. "Raise the Red Lantern." This masterpiece from the legendary filmmaker Zhang Yimou takes place in the 1920's during the Warlord Era. It tells the piercing story of a young woman who becomes one of many concubines to a wealthy man.
  4. "Ip Man." Another historical film presented within the framework of an action movie, this is the biography of grandmaster martial artist, Ip Man. It chronicles his life in Foshan during the second Sino-Japanese War.
  5. "Ju Dou." Another masterpiece from the great Zhang Yimou, this film takes place in 20th Century rural China and tells the story of a young woman that has been sold as a wife to an abusive cloth dryer.
  6. "Mulan Joins the Army." The first incarnation of the legend of Mulan, this 1939 film tells her story while chronicling the time of the Northern Wei dynasty.
  7. "The Banquet." Based upon Shakespeare's "Hamlet," this film presents that story while exploring the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in 10th century China.
  8. "The Sand Pebbles." Taking place in 1920's China aboard a U.S. gunboat, this film chronicles racism and colonialism via the interaction of American and Chinese characters, as well as the West's gunboat diplomacy domination of China.
  9. "Curse of the Golden Flower." Yet another masterpiece from Zhang Yimou, this film takes place during the Later Tang Dynasty in 928 AD. Although the setting is during this time period, Yimou also borrows elements from other periods such as the Ming Dynasty and Later Shu to construct a rich myriad of Ancient China.
  10. "The Last Emperor." Perhaps the richest of all historical films to chronicle China, this masterpiece explores the life of the last emperor of China, Puyi. It is regarded by some as being among the greatest films ever made and is the winner of nine Academy Awards.
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