Gong Li and Jeremy Irons in Chinese Box
1990s

Chinese Box — A Bit of a Puzzle

Chinese Box is a story of what happened when the British left Hong Kong in 1997. Technically, it’s not a historical film, since it was released that year. But it is centered around an historic event, so I decided to include it. The film is definitely dated. It’s interesting to…

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To Live
1960s, feature film, War

To Live: About Life and Death

To Live, a Chinese Mandarin language film now available on Netflix DVD, is still powerful 24 years after it was first produced. Starring Gong Li and directed by Zhang Yimou, To Live was banned in China when it was first released, and the Chinese government punished the director by preventing…

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WWII

Shanghai is surprisingly underwhelming

Shangai is a 2015 release currently available on Netflix DVD. If you’re a John Cusack fan like I am, and always wanted to appreciate him as a romantic lead, you’re still going to have to wait. He does his best in this film, which sat on the Hollywood shelf for…

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