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1.

China Revisited

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Lana Jokel, the filmmaker, was born in Shanghai to a privileged family that lived an enviable life style. When the Communists came to power the family fled, ultimately to Brazil where her father became a successful industrialist. Lana eventually was educated in America, where she now lives, but her search for roots brought her back to China. This beguiling film records her first visit back to the land of her birth and the relatives she left behind. With her camera in hand she embarks on a personal odyssey to rediscover China. Lana reunites with her sole surviving Auntie, who at 90 lives in a rundown apartment that she does not want to leave since her neighbors watch out for her. Lana finds cousins she never met, some who led difficult lives under the Communists, but others who are no [...]
Online
2006
2.

Chinese Foot Binding: The Vanishing Lotus

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A pair of small feet -- three-inch golden lilies -- were once the male-designated yardstick for feminine beauty in China. A young girl s feet were broken and bound inwards along the instep, a process that caused excruciating pain. Systematically bound, day after day, the stunted feet began to take on the coveted look of that profoundly sensuous image, the lotus bulb. Today there are fewer than 400 women with bound feet among the 1.25 billion people of China. Most of them are over 80 years old. Some of these women tell us of the event that branded their lives with its singular mark. Once an erotic symbol of beauty and eligibility, the bound foot confronts us with a custom that subjugated women to a brutal beauty myth.
Online
2004
3.

In the Name of the Emperor

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This is the only American documentary film to examine the Rape of Nanjing, December 13, 1937, when the Japanese Imperial troops marched into this city in China. In just six weeks they murdered 300,000 civilians, and systematically raped and killed thousands of women. Today, the Japanese government continues to deny it ever happened. In the Name of the Emperor is a monument to the suffering of the Chinese at the hands of the Japanese during World War II. It weaves together rare footage of the Japanese occupation, diary entries from Americans who were there, and the eye witness accounts of surviving Japanese soldiers. Especially unique is the newly discovered film footage of the massacre shot by John McGee, an American missionary who was living in Nanjing. This footage was part of the [...]
Online
1997
4.

Inside the Campus

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American college students, who enjoy all the freedoms and possibilities provided by university life, may well wonder how students in China fare. This is a frank account of what it is like to be a college student in China, filmed by a French director who was allowed to shoot for one year at Nanjing Normal University, a large university of 40,000 students. On the surface, life is quite different there. Soon after a student settles in, a uniformed Communist party member enters the dorm and instructs to the smallest detail just how one s personal objects are to be placed, from how shoes are to lined up, to where toothbrushes are stored. The first few months are given over to marching in formation, indoctrination into party history and learning to chant military slogans. We see a party se [...]
Online
2008
5.

Helen Foster Snow: Witness to Revolution

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Helen Foster Snow, collaborator and wife of historian Edgar Snow, left Utah as an inexperienced 18-year old and threw herself into the turmoil of Revolutionary China. This engrossing documentary of her life allows us to view rare archival footage and photos of what she witnessed from 1931 until 1940, as China experienced devastating floods, famine, revolution, civil war and bombardment and invasion by the Japanese. For historians in both China and the U.S., her first-hand account of the Chinese Revolution in the mid-1930s.
Online
2001
6.

Mao's New Suit

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For decades people in China modeled themselves on Chairman Mao who wore a simple worker's outfit in blue or grey. It was known as the "Mao Suit." To wear anything different meant that you stood out, and in China any sign of independent thought had always been dangerous. But China's doors have opened - and so have people s wardrobes. This irrepressible film follows the fortunes of two attractive thirty- year-old Bejing fashion designers who are out to make their mark on the international fashion industry. Both women were born during the Cultural Revolution, but unlike their parents, they are dedicated to their careers, not to politics. Sun Jian, witty and confident, and her friend Guo Pei, softer and more diplomatic, travel to Shanghai to participate in the most important fashion show [...]
Online
1999
7.

The Living Tree: Chinese American Identity

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Red China. Because of her family's efforts to avoid scrutiny during the Cold War era of the 1950s they tried hard to blend in with their surroundings and little mention was made at home of their Chinese past. Light -hearted letters which would pass the scrutiny of censors on both sides of the Bamboo Curtain were the only way family ties were maintained. It was not until Flora's Aunt Ping immigrated to America in the late eighties that Flora learned about her ancestors and the intertwining of Chinese history and family history. She also learned about the recent past, when her "capitalistic" family was subject to attack during the Cultural Revolution. The silence her parents had maintained about their past hardships and the loneliness experienced as immigrants was finally revealed. The [...]
Online
2006
8.

Zhang's Diner

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An impoverished Chinese couple move to Beijing from their home town in search of a better life. They invest what little they have in a shabby diner and begin a new life. The film follows Zhang's and Xiao's restaurant business over a period of three years. The couple s problems at times reach almost comical proportions. There are no customers, but they continue to make an effort. The couple represents a phenomenon that has become part of everyday life for tens of millions of Chinese. As China follows the global economy, it is the rural residents who used to make their living in state run cooperatives who now find themselves destitute. The large cities are full of illegal job seekers who have no basic security and are harassed by the local police, adding to their troubles. Nevertheless [...]
Online
2004
9.

Shanghai Bride

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How does the average man find a wife in materialistic Shanghai? There are two single males to every single female and the women are increasingly picky and middle-class. The effects of the one-child policy combined with a rapid revolution in China's values and lifestyles, have created increasingly selective middle- class Shanghai women. For working class men, finding a wife is a quest that requires money, time, and the strength to withstand countless disappointments. Wu is an electrician, earning 1,000 yuan (U.S.$125) per month. His ex-wife left him to find a wealthier man, and he has spent a large percentage of his income on dating agencies and newspaper classifieds in the hope of finding a nice woman to marry. Aileen is one of a growing number of professional, independent Shanghai w [...]
Online
2007