Due to the economic reforms that started in 1978 and the subsequent disarmament, Fang Bang Yan (Lu Yi) and other outstanding soldiers have to change their profession: open a business or work in state enterprises. With the example of Bang Yan who decides to start his own business, Entering a New Era explores how the reforms and the fast economic development changed people’s daily lives over the years.
Adapted from Yan Geling’s novel “Buyu’s Mountain Hostel”, The Years You Were Late follows professional soldier Mu Jian Feng (Huang Xiao Ming)’s life under the influence of the economic reforms. In 1985, the military medical team is asked to assist Company 3 who is currently constructing rail tracks. This is when Mu Jian Feng, Mo Li (Yin Tao), Zhao Yi Qin (Qin Hai Lu), Wen Ting (Fan Zhi Bo) and Wang Jian Yun (Tian Zheng) get to know each other. Several years later, when they all have started a new phase of life, Jian Feng and Mo Li meet again and develop feelings for each other, while Jian Yun and Wen Ting are talking about marriage. However, Wen Ting discovers that she has a hereditary mental illness and leaves Jian Yun. At the same time, Jian Feng decides to leave Mo Li as well due to an inferiority complex. He goes to the seaside to start a business there, where he ends up marrying Yi Qin. And Mo Li also becomes the wife of someone else. Later on, the former companions meet from time to time in Buyu’s Mountain Hostel to recall past times.
In the final years of the Eastern Jin dynasty, the prime minister Liu Yu seizes the throne. During the bloody coup d’état, only the imperial concubine Ye Qing Mei’s newborn son (Zhang Ruo Yun) is spared. Minister Fan Jian takes him in and names him Fan Xian. At the age of 18, Fan Xian is about to be married into the royal family and thus becomes the target of many people. Moreover, he is drawn into the fights between the princes. Thanks to his agility, he always ends up being able to avert disaster. He becomes a famous official who is loyal to the emperor. But when Fan Xian learns about the truth behind his birth, he is determined to seek revenge.
1935, Peace Hotel: Mysterious guests gamble their lives during ten days. In 1935, when Manchuria has been occupied, patriot Wang Da Ding (Lei Jia Yin) investigates an opium cream that is supposed to enter the market soon, and checks into the Peace Hotel. There he meets the returnee patriot from overseas and doctor Chen Jia Ying (Chen Shu). While Jia Ying studied medicine in Japan, she found out that Japan is currently testing biological weapons in Manchuria in order to speed up their invasion of China. She now cooperates with the anti-Japanese squad, who is trying to locate the laboratories of the Japanese, and helps them with her medical knowledge. However, the Peace Hotel has already been encircled by the Japanese. In order to avoid being investigated by them, the two strangers Da Ding and Jia Ying pretend to be a married couple. A battle of wits between the two and the Japanese ensues.
The Gods is another adaptation of the 16th century classic novel “Investiture of the Gods”. It is a romanticised retelling of the overthrow of King Zhou, the last ruler of the Shang dynasty, by Ji Fa (Jaco Zhang), who would establish the Zhou dynasty in its place. The story integrates oral and written tales of many Chinese mythological figures who are involved in the struggle as well. These figures include human heroes, immortals and various spirits. Bewitched by his concubine Daji (Wang Li Kun), who is actually a vixen spirit in disguise as a beautiful woman, King Zhou of Shang oppresses his people and persecutes those who oppose him, including his own subjects who dare to speak up to him. Ji Fa (King Wu of Zhou), assisted by his strategist Jiang Ziya (Yu He Wei), rallies an army to overthrow the tyrant and restore peace and order. Throughout the story, battles are waged between the kingdoms of Shang and Zhou, with both sides calling upon various supernatural beings – deities, immortals, demons, spirits, and humans with magical abilities – to aid them in the war. Yuanshi Tianzun bestows upon Jiang Ziya the “Fengshen Bang”, a list that empowers him to invest the gods of Heaven. The heroes of Zhou and some of their fallen enemies from Shang are eventually endowed with heavenly ranking and essentially elevated to their roles as gods.
River Sunset is a Chinese-American co-production based on real events during World War II. It depicts what happened behind the scenes, leading to the Bombing of Tokyo.
The story follows the lives of three boys from Taiwan Hsinchu Senior High School under the Japanese rule. Lin Qing Wen (Jasper Liu), Zhou Shao Zhen (Bryan Chang) and Zhuang Shi Geng (Hou Yan Xi) are childhood friends who grew up together and suffered under the Japanese colonial movement. The turbulence in lives and the brutality they faced under the Japanese rule awakens their nationalist feelings, which lead them to different paths.
At the end of the 1950s, the student of the Beijing Broadcasting Institute Wen Yi Qiu (Yin Tao) falls in love with the Soviet announcer Wei Ka and marries him in Beijing. Shortly after, however, the Soviet Union decides to withdraw its specialists stationed in Beijing and Wei Ka is forced to return to his home country. Thereupon, Yi Qiu leaves for the frontier town Hehei, where she starts working as an announcer, only to be nearer to her husband. Later on, Wei Ka gets a post in Blagoveshchensk, the city at the other side of the frontier. The two find comfort in listening to each other’s broadcast attentively, while hoping for the Chinese-Soviet relationship to get better.
During the anti-revolutionary coup in 1927, Xia Heng Xuan dies while saving the Communist Party member Ren Zhi Yuan (Kevin Tan), and leaves behind her younger sister Xia Yu Zhu (Yang Zi Shan) and her maid Shuang Ju (Nikita Mao). While the delicate Yu Zhu tries to earn a living alone, Shuang Ju enters the Kuomintang’s special agent organization on the recommendation of Zhi Yuan’s lover Xiao Cheng Bi (Liu Min). A few years later, Yu Zhu saves Zhi Yuan by chance. After Zhi Yuan sacrifices his life, Yu Zhu is touched and decides to work for the Communist Party’s underground organization. There she gets to know Cheng Bi’s younger brother Xiao Jun Hao (Chen Xiao), who received the same mission. While they work together, feelings develop.
Shanghai, 1930s. Shen Shijun, a young engineer, has fallen in love with his colleague, the beautiful Gu Manzhen. He is determined to resist his family’s efforts to match him with his wealthy cousin so that he can marry her. But dark circumstances—a lustful brother-in-law, a treacherous sister, a family secret—force the two young lovers apart. As Manzhen and Shijun go on their separate paths, they lose track of one another, and their lives become filled with feints and schemes, missed connections and tragic misunderstandings. At every turn, societal expectations seem to thwart their prospects for happiness. Still, Manzhen and Shijun dare to hold out hope—however slim—that they might one day meet again. A glamorous, wrenching tale set against the glittering backdrop of an extraordinary city, Half a Lifelong Romance is a beloved classic from one of the essential writers of twentieth-century China.