Last summer, “Crazy Rich Asians” became one of the biggest blockbusters in the world. That movie was heralded not only for its cinematic flair but also for its all-Asian cast. Since then, Asian representation in Hollywood has only grown. Check out all these movies with a Chinese cast and creative team coming out just in time for the summer.
1 The Farewell
“The Farewell” tells the story of Billi, a Chinese-American woman, Billi, who goes with her family back to China for a wedding. However, the wedding is only a ruse to see their matriarch, Billi’s grandmother, before she dies of cancer. The twist: her grandmother does not know she is dying.
Starring Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s 8) and directed by Beijing-born Lulu Wang, the movie hits American theaters on July 12th.
2 Always Be My Maybe
In this new rom-com, childhood friends Sasha, a famous chef, and Marcus, a struggling musician, reunite in their hometown after 15 years. According to Netflix’s description, the pair “feel the old sparks of attraction but struggle to adapt to each other's worlds.”
“Always Be My Maybe” was written by and stars Ali Wong and Randall Park. Ali Wong, who is Chinese and Vietnamese, rose to fame with her two Netflix comedy specials, “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife.” Randall Park is currently starring as Louis Huang on the tv comedy “Fresh Off the Boat.”. The movie also features Keanu Reeves (John Wick) and Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-0).
“Always Be My Maybe” comes out on May 31st on Netflix.
3 American Factory
In 2016, Chinese billionaire Cho Tak Wong bought a shut-down General Motors factory in Moranie, Ohio. He turned it into an auto glass factory for his Fuyao Glass Company, which makes the glass windows for cars and other vehicles. The opened factory created 3,000 jobs in the area, 10% of which are Chinese immigrants.
This documentary explores the culture clashes between the Chinese and American workforces, as well as the looming specter of automation, through interviews with various workers and Cho himself.
The movie won the documentary Directing Award for its directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019. At Sundance, “American Factory” was picked up by Netflix in partnership with Higher Ground Productions, Barack and Michelle Obama’s new production company. It is slated to premiere this summer on Netflix.
4 One Child Nation
“One Child Nation” explores China’s one-child policy, which required each family to only have one child. The policy was in place in some form from 1979 to 2015. The documentary examines the changes made to the policy, as well as the methods used to enforce it, through interviews with the families affected. It also talks about connections to the overseas adoption industry.
Directed by Wang Nanfu and Zhang Jialing, “One Child Nation” won the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries at the Sundance this year, the film festival’s highest honor. It is set to come out on August 9th on Amazon Video.
5 The Wandering Earth
If you can’t wait for these movies to come out and are looking for something to watch right now, “The Wandering Earth” premiered on Netflix on April 30th. Based on the novella by Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem), the movie follows a team of astronauts attempting to move the Earth away from the expanding Sun without colliding with other planets.
“The Wandering Earth” was released in Chinese theaters in February and is already China’s second-highest-grossing film of all time, behind “Wolf Warrior 2.” It has made over $700 million worldwide. The Chinese-language movie stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, Zhao Jinmai, Wu Jing and Qu Jingjing.