Ditto earlier recommendations on Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige. Also check out Taiwanese directors like Ang Lee (pre-Hollywood) and Edward Yang who create similar poignancy through meaningful stories and excellent characters. I personally feel Yang's Yi Yi (A One and a Two) and Lee's Yin Shi Nan Nu (Eat Drink Man Woman) may be two of the best movies I've ever seen in any language. We own both on DVD and have watched them each 5 or 6 times with increased appreciation and fondness each viewing. Lee's Tui Shou (Pushing Hands) and Xi Yan (Wedding Banquet) are also excellent picks.