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From the founding of the People’s Republic of China to the cultural revolution, most filmmakers made films from a political perspective. The film industry entered a long depressed period due to political issues.

Film production began to recover in the 1980s, when China opened up to the outside world and the political atmosphere was relaxed. At that time, Kaige Chen, Yimou Zhang, Xiaogang Feng, Zhuangzhuang Tian, and other so-called fifth generation directors used new film language to express their relationship with the society. Their strong personal style and bold artistic pursuit became the symbol of Chinese films in the 1980s.

Then a group of young people make films with different styles. Besides, their film themes mostly involve in humanity care and social issues. They have won awards repeatedly in international film festivals. People also call the films they make “underground films” or “indie films”. Representatives are Zhangke Jia, Xiaoshuai Wang, Yang Zhang, etc.. They are also known as the sixth generation directors.

Then, the economic grows rapidly and the censorship system is still strict. Most Chinese films thus put more emphasis on entertainment and the so-called blockbuster era comes. Many of these blockbusters have achieved huge box office success on the mainland, but not all of them are popular among overseas audiences.

Orient Indie Films is still exploring the taste of overseas audiences. We will try to let you watch the kind of Chinese documentaries & indie movies you would enjoy online. We also welcome your feedback.

Note: There may be other kinds of Chinese content such as TV series or web series in this attribute.

Watch Chinese documentaries and indie movies online with English subtitles:

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  • We Will Have Everything – Jiang Nengjie
    • We Will Have Everything – Jiang Nengjie
    • We Will Have Everything – Jiang Nengjie
    • $3.49$169.00
    • Mentally disabled group is large but rarely appear in ordinary people's vision in China. With extraordinary patience and love from the charity, can these special people enjoy basic human rights and strive to live independently?
  • Shang’ajia – Jin Jiang
    • Shang’ajia – Jin Jiang
    • Shang’ajia – Jin Jiang
    • $3.49$169.00
    • A group of Lisu people without a registered ID (Hukou) live their primitive life in the mountains by the Nujiang River in Yunnan. In addition to misfortune and hardships, they also have simple happiness.
  • Why Not Coming Back – Hui Dapeng
    • Why Not Coming Back – Hui Dapeng
    • Why Not Coming Back – Hui Dapeng
    • $2.99$139.00
    • Most of the remains of the Chinese expeditionary soldiers who fought in Myanmar have not been properly preserved even until today. When can they return home and rest in peace?
  • Jia Yi – Jiang Nengjie
    • Jia Yi – Jiang Nengjie
    • Jia Yi – Jiang Nengjie
    • $3.99$199.00
    • Jiayi is a left-behind child who has to endure the bitter taste of separation from parents. However, she still has to forget sadness and grows up in pain and joy with her brother.
  • The Sichuan Army Veteran Peng Guochen – Jiang Nengjie
  • The Ninth Grade – Jiang Nengjie
    • The Ninth Grade – Jiang Nengjie
    • The Ninth Grade – Jiang Nengjie
    • $2.99$139.00
    • A group of students are at a crossroads in life preparing for the High School Entrance Exam, and most of them are left-behind children. Can they get good grades to change their own destiny?
  • Miners, the Horsekeeper and Pneumoconiosis – Jiang Nengjie
  • Mr. Long Yunsong – Jiang Nengjie
    • Mr. Long Yunsong – Jiang Nengjie
    • Mr. Long Yunsong – Jiang Nengjie
    • $3.49$169.00
    • Kuomintang (KMT) veteran Long Yunsong participated in the Sino-Japanese war by glory, but he is sick and experiences injustice in old age. Can he really be recognized by the state before he dies?
  • Children at a Village School – Jiang Nengjie
    • Children at a Village School – Jiang Nengjie
    • Children at a Village School – Jiang Nengjie
    • $4.49$229.00
    • This documentary is about a school in the mountainous area of Hunan and focuses on left-behind children in three families. Due to contradiction between backward rural appearance and urban development, the fate of the three generations interwoven together.
  • Lost Mountain – Gu Tao
    • Lost Mountain – Gu Tao
    • Lost Mountain – Gu Tao
    • $4.99$269.00
    • Gelibao, a former hunter, raises more than 100 Oroqen hunting horses in the traditional way. One day, his horse is shot by poachers. The sky of Wulubutie has turned to grey...
  • The Opaque God – Gu Tao
    • The Opaque God – Gu Tao
    • The Opaque God – Gu Tao
    • $2.49$139.00
    • The aged Guan Kouni is the last Shaman of Oroqen. She hopes to find a Shaman heir in her lifetime. However, today's young people no longer believe in the God.
  • The Last Moose of Aoluguya – Gu Tao
    • The Last Moose of Aoluguya – Gu Tao
    • The Last Moose of Aoluguya – Gu Tao
    • $4.99$299.00
    • Wejia, an Evenki hunter with moose's lonely temperament feels lost after the government banned hunting. When the spring comes, Weijia enters the original forest and looks for the moose's footprints...
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