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3 Chinese Movies to Watch as Part of the We Are One Global Film Festival on YouTube

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Billed as an “unprecedented” digital film festival, the We Are One Global Film Festival is running for the next 10 days on YouTube. Over that timespan, it’ll be spotlighting films selected by some of the most famous film festivals around the world: Cannes, Tribeca, Berlin, Sundance, Sydney and the BFI among them.

There’s a wealth of incredible cinema on offer — plus a chat with Jackie Chan — but here are some of the China-related highlights:

The Wrath of Silence

7:30 AM EST, June 4

Appearing courtesy of Macau’s annual film festival, director Xin Yukun’s film is described as a “sleek neo-noir [that] pulls no punches as it grapples with the stark disparity of wealth in modern China.” Following a miner banished from his home village after a brutal brawl, The Wrath of Silence sounds like an accompaniment of sorts to Jia Zhangke’s darkly brilliant A Touch of Sin, and stars Jiang Wu who himself plays a memorable miner in that film.

The Iron Hammer

4:30 PM EST, June 7

Joan Chen helms this documentary looking at the life of volleyball coach Lang Ping, a sporting hero in China who also helped transform the US women’s team. Lang is also at the heart of LEAP — in which she’s played by Gong Li — a film that was due to be one of the biggest releases of China’s Spring Festival blockbuster season, before Covid-19 shuttered cinemas across the country.

According to the official blurb, this film is “brimming with never-before-seen footage, personal interviews, and (obviously) exhilarating volleyball” and “explores how Lang Ping’s success coaching both Team USA and China ratcheted up the bar for female empowerment and the global ambitions of a country at a crossroads.”

Related:

25 Films From the 2010s That Will Help You Understand China




A City Called Macau

7:00 AM EST, June 7

For something a little different, another selection from the Macau film fest has the SAR very much at its heart in a tale of gambling, alleged cheating and loss. Fifth Generation director Li Shaohong’s film is described as a “high-stakes melodrama, critically set during a period of wild economic flux in Macau, before the Chinese government crackdown on casino corruption” and was made to mark the 20th anniversary of Macau’s handover from Portugal to China.

All films will stream on the We Are One YouTube channel.

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.