15+ essential documentaries to watch to understand China

| China-Underground Movie Database

Since Mao’s death, with the consequent opening of China to the world, China has been told by many directors who described the process of modernization that the country was experiencing.

Some themes, such as the sense of alienation and emptiness caused by the Cultural Revolution, the search for roots and lost identity, an abruptly abandoned past, the poisoning of the environment and its effect on the population, and the contradictions of the process of economic development at all costs somehow recur in the most interesting works on China.

We have tried to avoid tourist documentaries in this list, preferring to concentrate on documentaries that deal with socio-cultural and historical themes.

For more info about the movies (details, images, credits, trailers) click on the movie title.

Following this link instead, you’ll find a comprehensive list of documentaries about China.