Blockbuster movies, old and new, all have something in common, and that is their uncanny ability to keep their viewers engaged with the screen. Follow this article to get introduced to some of China’s blockbuster movies from the 90s.
1. The Emperor’s Shadow
Ying Zheng and Gao Jianli had known each other for a long time. Gao’s mother was Ying’s wet nurse while he was held hostage in the Zhao state. But the two were separated when Ying Zheng went back to his state and became King. When Ying had reached adulthood, he went out on a rampage and a series of wars to fulfill his plans for unifying China. Gao Jianli was kidnapped from the Yan state to compose a powerful anthem for Ying’s new state. But the two long-lost friends found themselves conflicted over many things, such as the King’s ruthless mass killing policies, and Princess Yueyang, the King’s daughter.
2. Touching Starlight
Chen Wei is a young girl who aspires to become a great dancer. But her dreams and hopes for her perfect future are snatched away when her leg is amputated due to cancer. Now that Chen Wei can’t fulfill her dream, she tries to encourage others to overcome their handicaps and live as productively as they can. She started a local radio talk program, ‘Starlight’, to provide advice to those who need it and create more awareness about the handicapped community. The radio show became increasingly popular, and many people began tuning in to listen to Chen Wei speak, but the young girl was forced to leave when it became clear that her cancer had spread, becoming terminal.
3. Colors Of The Blind
Ding Lihua would have been nothing more than a silly girl if it wasn’t for the fact that she attended a school for the blind. One day while running behind her brother’s bicycle, she was spotted by Li Mingsheng, a Paralympics coach. Although Ding joins his team, she quits immediately because she disagreed with his harsh teaching methods. But when Ding realized that she had the best chance at becoming something greater under Li’s guidance, she returned to the team. Slowly, both Li and Ding start to understand each other’s needs and feelings better. After Ding represents China and wins a gold medal at the Paralympics’ Games, she retires and becomes a masseuse. Through sports, she found her comfort and confidence.
4. The Opium War
The Opium War is set during the first hints of the 1838 conflicts that would later grow into the Opium War, which ceded Hong Kong to the British Empire. It tells the story of Lin Zexu, an official of the Qing Dynasty, and his series of advances towards the British as an attempt to end the selling of opium to the population. But his advances were not much appreciated and the British retaliated by dispatching massive firepower whose aim was China’s ports.
5. Keep Cool
A young bookseller falls in love with a woman who gets married to another man. Her husband is a rich man who decides to send his people to beat the bookseller. During their fight, a passer-by somehow gets involved when his laptop breaks due to the fight. This begged a simple question, ‘Who would pay the man for the damage?’ The bookseller wanted revenge but began to question if it would be useful at all. Two men with varying thoughts and societal classes, the bookseller and the laptop owner, how will they attain justice together and for each other?
6. So Close To Paradise
Two men, Gao Ping and Dongzi, move from the countryside to work in the provincial city of Wuhan. While Dongzi leads a quiet life, Gao Ping gets involved in a scam. Tofind the man who cheated him, Gao Ping kidnaps Ruan Hong, a Vietnamese singer and bar girl. When it is revealed that she is the girlfriend of a local crime boss, Gao realizes that it is too late for him and becomes a victim to the gangster’s revenge. All this while, Dongzi had been watching everything from the sidelines and decided that now would be the perfect time to express his feelings to the girl of his dreams, Ruan Hong.
7. Once Upon A Time In Shanghai
Three close friends Huirong, Zhaobai, and Jikan have returned to their hometown after studying business management in the United States of America. Out of the three, Huirong and Zhaobai are engaged. Everything goes on smoothly between the three friends until their opinions begin to clash with regards to building a new China and how it should be built to help the nation reach glory.
8. A Beautiful New World
An innocent countryman wins a luxurious apartment in the busy city of Shanghai through a lottery but is shocked for some reason when he sees the apartment. So, instead of taking instant ownership of the lottery prize, he is forced to move in with a younger woman who happens to be a distant relative of his, and whom he calls ‘Auntie’.
9. Lunar Eclipse
A young newlywed happens to come across a minivan driver with a profound passion for photography. When the cryptic photographer confesses of a previous affair with a woman who bears a shocking resemblance to the newlywed, the young woman finds herself falling under his spell.
Shower depicts the story of a father and the relationship between him and his two sons. The eldest son decided to go to Shenzhen in search of fortune, while the father remained in Beijing, raising his mentally disabled son and holding on to his profession as the master of a bathhouse. The eldest son decides to go back to Beijing when he is mistakenly informed of his father’s demise. But upon his return, he discovers the true magic of the bathhouse and its importance not only to his father but also to its surrounding community.