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In 1993 Chen Kaige, 陈凯歌, won the first Palme D’Or for a Chinese language film at the Cannes Film Festival for his epic Farewell, My Concubine.

The film went on to gather critical praise, an Academy Award Nomination and was a box office success throughout the world.

Prior to the Chinese Cultural Revolution of 1966, Chen, the son of a respected film director, attended a school for privileged children in Beijing. When the revolution took hold, Chen, along with many thousands of his middle class contemporaries, was sent to the countryside for re-education and to work on the land; in his case clearing trees in the south of the country. From there he was inducted into the regional army and served five years before returning to Beijing.

In 1978 Chen was among the first intake of students at the newly reopened Beijing Film Academy. These talented students became known as the Fifth Generation Directors and included director Zhang Yimou, who originally collaborated with Chen as his cinematographer. As students, the Fifth Generation was influenced by Western European directors rather than Hollywood movies.

Yellow Earth, Chen Kaige’s debut film, was hailed as the audacious beginning to a new era of Chinese theatre, and was awarded prizes in festivals from London to Hawaii. His following films The Big Parade, King of Children and Life on a String, were interspersed by sojourn at the American University of Columbia. Following the international success of Farewell, My Concubine, Kaige directed Temptress Moon (1996), The Emperor and the Assassin (1999) and Together (2002).

Chinese director Chen Kaige
Chinese director Chen Kaige

Chen Kaige Filmography


Chen Kaige

Poster for the movie "The Legend of the Demon Cat"

The Legend of the Demon Cat

The acclaimed director Chen Kaige presents a spectacular epic film about the greatest mystery in history, based on the best-selling Japanese novel by Baku...
Poster for the movie "Monk Comes Down The Mountain"

Monk Comes Down The Mountain

Monk Comes Down the Mountain (Chinese: 道士下山) is a 2015 Chinese fantasy-adventure-comedy film directed by Chen Kaige and starring Wang Baoqiang, Aaron Kwok, Chang...
Poster for the movie "Farewell My Concubine"

Farewell My Concubine

History’s effect on private lives along with the search of identity has been a common theme in China’s Fifth Generation films. Farewell My Concubine is...
Poster for the movie "Yellow Earth"

Yellow Earth

Yellow earth focuses on the story of a Communist soldier who is sent to the countryside to collect folk songs for the Communist Revolution. Yellow...
Poster for the movie "Sacrifice"


For generations the Zhao family has wielded power, until their mortal enemy TU’AN GU slaughters the entire clan, determined to wipe out their influence...
Poster for the movie "Forever Enthralled"

Forever Enthralled

A biographical account of Mei Lanfang, China's greatest opera star.
Poster for the movie "King of the Children"

King of the Children

King of the Children is a 1987 drama film directed by Chen Kaige and starring Chen Shaohua. The film was based on a novella of...
Poster for the movie "Life on a String"

Life on a String

Two blind men pursue ephemeral and unlikely hopes. One is an aged master, a wandering troubador venerated as a saint, in physical decline, waiting...
Poster for the movie "Together"


When a violin prodigy Xiaochun and his father head to Beijing seeking fame and fortune, they soon discover a fierce world of cutthroat ambition.
Poster for the movie "Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet"

Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet

Ten Minutes Older is a 2002 film project consisting of two compilation feature films entitled The Trumpet and The Cello.

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