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Farewell My Concubine (1993)
"Ba wang bie ji" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  15 October 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 16,149 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 44 critic

The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.



(novel) (as Lillian Lee) , (screenplay) (as Lillian Lee) , 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Qi Lü ...
Master Guan
Da Ying ...
Chun Li ...
Xiao Si (in his teens)
Han Lei ...
Xiao Si (adult)
Di Tong ...
Zhang the Eunuch
Mingwei Ma ...
Douzi as a Child
Yang Fei ...
Shitou as a Child
Zhi Yin ...
Douzi as a Teenager
Hailong Zhao ...
Shitou as a Teenager
Dan Li ...
Laizi / Peking Opera schoolboy
Wenli Jiang ...
Douzi's Mother


"Farewell, My Concubine" is a movie with two parallel, intertwined stories. It is the story of two performers in the Beijing Opera, stage brothers, and the woman who comes between them. At the same time, it attempts to do no less than squeeze the entire political history of China in the twentieth century into a three-hour time-frame. Written by Michael Kim <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

opera | school | friend | boy | prostitute | See All (171) »


The passionate story of two lifelong friends and the woman who comes between them.


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and strong depiction of thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

15 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Farewell My Concubine  »

Box Office


$5,216,888 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (USA) (theatrical)

Sound Mix:


(flashback sequence)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The very first film from the People's Republic of China to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »


When Douzi is first examined by the owner of the opera troupe, his extra finger is on his right hand below the thumb. When he withdraws the hand from the opera troupe owner, he pulls back his left arm. When his mother cuts the extra finger off a few moments later, it is now on his left hand, next to his pinkie. See more »


Master Yuan: A smile ushers in the spring.
Master Yuan: A tear does darken all the world.
Master Yuan: How truly does this befit you. To you... only you are possessed of such charm.
See more »


Referenced in Veronica Mars (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the grandest epics of our time...
22 March 2000 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

A masterpiece in every sense of the word, Chen Kaige's breath-stealing parable of China's multi-layered political revolution, is centred on two men. Chen presents us with an absorbing story of a 52 year-old relationship between two opera actors mounted upon an impossibly large canvas. But without sacrificing any intricate plot development or smudging over any delicate complexity in the relationship.

Considered by many to be one of the greatest epics of all time, this film rightly established Chen's reputation as one of the most brilliant narrative and artistic directors of our time, along with other such contemporary auteurs as Kieslowski, Bertolucci and Kurosawa.

You can not call yourself a film-buff if you haven't seen this movie. And film-students: you can witness the true art of filmmaking and story telling through the skilled hands of Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine.

37 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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