As I explore San Francisco, home of the illustrious Chinatown, I consider the contributions of Hong Kong and Taiwan to world cinema. One of the most prominent film styles used by Chinese filmmakers is the Wuxia film. There is a lot to love and appreciate about these films and their place in cinema in unquestionably important.
Wuxia films fall into a very specific niche. They focus on a specific time period, a specific fight style, and a specific culture. These films can be coined as ‘Martial Arts’ films, but there is so much more to them than that. These films paint a distinguished portrait of Chinese culture and they never shy away from the masterful way that these Chinese warriors sacrificed themselves for honor and glory. The films of the Wuxia subgenre are moral epics that have shaped Chinese culture since long before cinema ever existed.
There are a lot of good Wuxia films, and literature as well, but a few of my favorite ones are:
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
- A Touch of Zen (1971)
- Come Drink with Me (1966)
- House of Flying Daggers (2004)
- Hero (2002)
- Dragon Inn (1967)
- The Assassin (2015)