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Big Waves and Great Earthquakes: Chinese Cinema's Sixth Generation Movement (1988 – 2002) — A Canon

"We were caught in a big wave and didn't know what to do." — Wu Wenguang

"I worked together with a group of artists to film a documentary about this new art movement. We called it The Great Earthquake." — Wen Pulin

Presented here is a canon of Mainland Chinese features all made during a specific period which I consider to be most representative of the 'Sixth Generation' Chinese cinema. That period begins in earnest in 1990 (the year of release for Zhang Yuan's Mama and Wu Wenguang's Bumming in Beijing — not the first two independent films in China but an accepted coordinate for a variety of reasons), while tracing back to 1988, when not only was Wen Pulin…

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  • The Great Earthquake

    1

  • Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers

    2

  • Tiananmen

    3

  • Mama

    4

  • Those Left Behind

    5

  • The Sacred Site for Asceticism

    6

  • Celestial Burial

    7

  • The Nuns of Minqiong

    8

  • Catholicism in Tibet

    9

  • I Have Graduated

    10

  • The Last Mountain God

    11

  • Big Tree County

    12

  • 1966, My Time in the Red Guards

    13

  • Five Contemporary Artists from Southwest China

    14

  • A Home Far Away from Home

    15

  • Beijing Bastards

    16

  • The Days

    17

  • Frozen

    18

  • Dirt

    19

  • Red Beads

    20

  • Lost Shore

    21

  • Weekend Lover

    22

  • Don't Be Young

    23

  • Age of Sensitivity

    24

  • Dragon Ridge

    25

  • The Square

    26

  • The Other Bank

    27

  • At Home in the World

    28

  • Postman

    29

  • Goldfish

    30

  • Farewell, Yuanmingyuan

    31

  • The Artists of Yuanmingyuan

    32

  • Mountain Far Away

    33

  • Karmapa Bless You

    34

  • Life

    35

  • Fading Reindeer Bell

    36

  • The Woman Matchmaker

    37

  • Xiao Shan Going Home

    38

  • The Making of Steel

    39

  • So Close to Paradise

    40

  • Varying Adolescence

    41

  • The Street Rhapsody

    42

  • Sons

    43

  • East Palace, West Palace

    44

  • Rainclouds Over Wushan

    45

  • The Wilderness of Youth

    46

  • Days of Miandi

    47

  • No. 16 Barkhor South Street

    48

  • Men and Women in Gada Village

    49

  • The Ends of the Earth

    50

  • Pickpocket

    51

  • Love in the City

    52

  • Yin Yang

    53

  • Production

    54

  • Out of Phoenix Bridge

    55

  • An Estranged Paradise

    56

  • Maiden Work

    57

  • Who Has Ever Seen the Festival of Wild Animals?

    58

  • Interesting Times: Xiao's Long March

    59

  • Zhou Zhou's World

    60

  • Explosion

    61

  • The Nail House

    62

  • Dreams of Changjiang

    63

  • A River Stilled

    64

  • Men and Women

    65

  • Scenery

    66

  • City Paradise

    67

  • Lunar Eclipse

    68

  • A Dream of Youth

    69

  • Call Me

    70

  • A Lingering Face

    71

  • Dream House

    72

  • Seventeen Years

    73

  • Jiang Hu: Life on the Road

    74

  • Crazy English

    75

  • 2H

    76

  • Dreaming of Axu

    77

  • China Action

    78

  • Tibet: 10 Years

    79

  • Forefinger

    80

  • Old Men

    81

  • Dou Dou

    82

  • Circumstances

    83

  • Beijing Cotton-Fluffer

    84

  • Tulou, My Home

    85

  • Shipwreck—The Story of 1997

    86

  • Living Elsewhere

    87

  • A Student Village

    88

  • Gongbu’s Happy Life

    89

  • The Elders

    90

  • Looking for Cobra

    91

  • Mask: Field Research on a Folk Performance

    92

  • Platform

    93

  • Suzhou River

    94

  • Go for Broke

    95

  • The Paper

    96

  • Border of Freedom

    97

  • Ying and Bai

    98

  • Bajiao Street

    99

  • Jiayu Pass

    100