Your Ultimate Guide to Chinese Film Screenings for May in NYC

At the beginning of each month, CFI posts a comprehensive list of Chinese film screenings in NYC. To help you better understand China through cinema, we include films that are made by Chinese filmmakers, set in China, or tell Chinese stories. Here is what to see in May.


Theatrical Releases

New Releases:

A Still from ‘A or B’

 A or B (Zheng Xu, 114 min, China, 2018)

Opens 05/04 at AMC Empire 25

Xiaonian Zhong (by XU, Zheng), who used to launder money, was kidnapped into a room, and forced to answer a series of questions to get himself out of the trapped room. Given two choices on all of the questions, he was forced to realize what a man he truly is. When making these choices, Xiaonian Zhong (by XU, Zheng) fell into the trap, which led to the collapse of his reputation, made a huge amount of money in jeopardy, and put his wife Simeng Wei (by WANG, Likun) into danger. To clear his name and save his wife, Xiaonian Zhong (by XU, Zheng) started a life-and-death game with the person behind this kidnap. Watch the Trailer


A Still from ‘I Am Your Mom’

I Am Your Mom (Xiao Zhang, 104 min, China, 2018)

Opens 05/11 at AMC

A Still from ‘Angels Wear White’

Angels Wear White (Vivian Qu, 107 min, China, 2017)

05/04 at Metrograph

A bold and, in Mainland China, unprecedented use of genre film to shine a light on a culture of bureaucratic corruption and conspiratorial silence which puts vulnerable young women at particular risk. Two schoolgirls are assaulted in a motel; Mia, a teenager on-duty at the desk who is the lone witness, says nothing to the authorities for fear of reprisal, but she begins to buckle upon meeting one of the victims, 12-year-old Wen, and finds herself sucked into an intrigue involving media, local government, and more. A harrowing and uncompromised sophomore feature from Vivian Qu, resonant with the global reckoning of the #MeToo moment. Watch the Trailer



Sylvia Chang

Sylvia Chang

A 15-Film Retrospective of the Groundbreaking Actress and Director
Including Films by Edward Yang, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Stanley Kwan, and Jia Zhangke

Chang To Appear In-Person!

Opens 05/18 at Metrograph

Beginning Friday May 18, Metrograph will present a 15-film retrospective of Sylvia Chang. A groundbreaking writer-director in a male-dominated industry, improbably prolific international movie star of the first flight, pop sensation, and fearless stunt actor, Chang is a one-woman dynamo of artistic activity whose triumphant career spans cultures East and West, genres and disciplines. Her recent output includes musical comedy Office (2015), which she wrote and starred in for Johnnie To, and a poignant turn in Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart (2015). Born in Taiwan, Chang broke through as an ingenue in pop cinema, appearing in classical adaptations, like gender-bending Qing-period love story The Dream of the Red Chamber (1977), and wuxia classics, like King Hu’s philosophical kung-fu tale Legend of the Mountain (1979). A performer of eloquent restraint and power, she won her first Taiwan Golden Horse Award as Best Actress for My Grandfather (1981); went on to work with a pantheon of Chinese auteurs operating around the globe, including Tsui Hark, Edward Yang, Stanley Kwan, and Ang Lee; and emerged as a powerful filmmaking force in her own right, before turning director, producing such elegant, nuanced works as 20 30 40 (2004), Murmur of the Hearts (2015), and Love Education (2017). Altogether it makes for an unprecedented career.


A Still from ‘The Seventy-Seven Days’

77 Days (Hantang Zhao, 115 min, China, 2017)

05/31 (7 PM -10 PM) at AMC Empire 25

The film is adapted from a novel called Chang Tang, Super Wasteland. Yang, who lost himself in stuffy life, went to highland alone. He met Lantian who had been paralyzed in Tibet. Going through 77 days, they walked out from the depopulated zone. There will be a 60-min Q&A with the director.



A Still from ‘Becoming Who I Was’

Becoming Who I Was (Moon Chang-yong, Jeon Jin, 95 min, South Korea, 2017)

05/01-07 at MoMA

Filmed over the course of eight years, Becoming Who I Was follows the daily life of Padma Angdu, a young Ladakhi boy who has been identified as the reincarnation of a high-ranking Tibetan Buddhist monk. On his quest to be reunited with his original monastic order, he must overcome great obstacles with the help of his godfather and mentor, Urgyan Rickzan.



NYC Independent Film Festival (May 07-13)

Can I Wake You Up? (Paola Chen, 1 min, Hong Kong, 2017)

Animation Session #2

05/10 at Producers Club – Theater G

‘Can I Wake You Up?’ is about unwanted thoughts. These are the thoughts of something you want, but cannot have. Therefore, you want to wake up and let them go.

Ding (Xidong Lu, 3 min, USA, 2017)

SCAD Animation Session

05/12 at Producers Club – Theater S

An experience of a Monk’s meditation process. In his meditation he experiences the 4 elements, the difference of relative time between a snap, and the obliteration and formation of the world and life.

Mind Game (Weisi Dai, 2 min, China/UK, 2017)

Experimental Film Session #1

05/09 at Producers Club – Theater G


A Still from ‘The Musician Under New York’

The Musician Under New York (Joy Le Li, 9 min, USA)

05/07 at Producers Club – Theater S

“The Musician Under New York” gives an intimate view of the story of a Chinese immigrant in New York City. Zongli Lu is formally authorized by the MTA to play music in the subways–a rare accomplishment for a recent immigrant. Even more unique, Lu had no formal musical training. In China, being a musician is considered a luxury, so many parents, including Lu’s, discourage their children. After moving to the US, Lu quickly found that the skills that Chinese society encouraged were not useful to him anymore. So after spending all the money he brought from China, Lu had no choice but to use the lost passion he had when he was a child. To his family’s surprise, Lu not only survived on the skills they had deemed useless, but he also rediscovered his love for music.

The Remedy (Zilai Feng, 7 min, USA, 2017)

Animation Session #2

05/10 at Producers Club – Theater G

A Chinese herbal doctor trying to heal herself from sickness by making a soup of memory.

The Wolf Guru (Mian Qin, 5 min, USA, 2017)

Animation Session #1

05/08 at Producers Club – Theater G

The Animation Film ‘The Wolf Guru’ is an adaption of a Chinese folk tale. It is about a man is attacked by a group of wolves and their unidentified monster leader. Even though he finally gets out of the danger, the real identity of the monster is a huge surprise for him.

Virginity and Beyond (Yuhao Chang, 4 min, USA, 2017)

Experimental Film Session #1

05/09 at Producers Club – Theater G

Virginity and Beyond is a video installation that interprets people’s first-time experiences. The soundtrack is recorded tap dancing and the visuals are abstractions created by mixing liquids, such as milk, oil, soap water, glow sticks and more, presented as wall projections. The installation tries to recreate and reawaken in people their highly-charged/engaged and intense moments of first-time experiences.

The Street of Anfok (Zilai Feng, 4 min, USA, 2016)

Animation Session #1

05/08 at Producers Club – Theater G

A paralyzed man who always stays in bed and looks through his mirror at the window of his room, encounters something different in a rainy day.

Fern (Xiao-Wei Lu, 4 min, UK, 2017)

05/10 at Producers Club – Theater G

Fern is a nightmarish tale tells the story of a relationship between two young lovers. Inspired by the dark and neurotic experimental grime melody, the work seeks to create a claustrophobic physical version of a psychological space. It’s a film about the connection between anxiety, intimacy, love and loss. Written and directed by Xiao-Wei Lu, with the music from the London based musician Visionist (Louis Carnell), Fern is a collaborative project which champions the creativities of independent artists from different fields in London. Styled by Daisy Deane, it features menswear and womenswear from Songzio, MM6 Maison Martin Margeila, Nikita Karisma and Ufo Town.

Marina (Jianying Chen, 13 min, USA, 2017)

Short Film Session #3

05/09 at Producers Club – Theater G

After losing control of her legs, Marina’s body deteriorates faster than she imagines. While the father withholds the truth from her, Marina’s memory of mom’s death keeps coming to her. Struggling between life and death, trying to figure out what’s happening, Marina’s time is counting down. Before losing control of her body completely, what will be her choice?