IMDb > Farewell My Concubine (1993)
Ba wang bie ji
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Farewell My Concubine (1993) More at IMDbPro »Ba wang bie ji (original title)

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Farewell My Concubine -- Trailer

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   14,159 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Pik Wah Lee (novel)
Pik Wah Lee (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Farewell My Concubine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 October 1993 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The passionate story of two lifelong friends and the woman who comes between them.
Plot:
The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the best Chinese films... ever! See more (76 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Leslie Cheung ... Cheng Dieyi (segment "Douzi")
Fengyi Zhang ... Duan Xiaolou (segment "Shitou")

Li Gong ... Juxian
Qi Lü ... Master Guan
Da Ying ... Manager

You Ge ... Master Yuan
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
Yitong Zhi ... Aoki Saburo
David Wu ... Red Guard

Qing Xu

Directed by
Kaige Chen 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Pik Wah Lee  novel (as Lillian Lee)
Pik Wah Lee  screenplay (as Lillian Lee)
Wei Lu  writer

Produced by
Feng Hsu .... producer
Jade Hsu .... executive producer
Pin Hsu .... executive producer
Zhenduo Li .... line producer
Donald Ranvaud .... associate producer
Sun Ying .... line producer
Xia Zhang .... line producer
 
Original Music by
Jiping Zhao 
 
Cinematography by
Changwei Gu 
 
Film Editing by
Xiaonan Pei 
 
Production Design by
Yuhe Yang 
Zhanjia Yang 
 
Art Direction by
Huaikai Chen 
 
Costume Design by
Chen Changmin 
 
Makeup Department
Fan Qingshan .... makeup artist
Guan Rui Xu .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Bai Yu .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jin Ping .... assistant director
Bai Yu .... assistant director
Jinting Zhang .... assistant director
Jinzhan Zhang .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Yi Ho .... props
Mingshan Li .... props
Ruixiang Xu .... props
Huo Yan .... props
Huhe Yang .... set dresser
Yulin Yang .... props
Zhanjia Yang .... set dresser
Ming Zhu .... props
 
Sound Department
Jing Tao .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Zhao Faquan .... camera operator
Dong Gang .... Steadicam operator
Baoquan Li .... Steadicam operator
 
Editorial Department
Rob Sciarratta .... video color timer
 
Other crew
Ying Feng .... script supervisor
Linda Jaivin .... subtitler: English
Kei Shu .... distribution manager
Kei Shu .... publicist
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ba wang bie ji" - China (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for language and strong depiction of thematic material
Runtime:
171 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White (some scenes) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The very first film from the People's Republic of China to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the streets on the eve of the Communist takeover (1948), Dieyi and Xiaolou watch the chaos unfold while seen between them in the background is Master Zhang the Eunuch. The next shot reveals Master Zhang sitting across the street from them.See more »
Quotes:
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 »

FAQ

Was Cheng Dieyi Gay?
See more »
80 out of 100 people found the following review useful.
One of the best Chinese films... ever!, 29 May 2003

One of the best Chinese films...ever!

The story was touching and brilliant, packed with unforgettable scenes: The Dickens-like portrayal of the young Peking opera performers undergoing training was heart-breaking. The presence of Japanese, Nationalist and Communnist troops were powerful reminders of Modern China's torrential times. The class struggle scene was a painfully poignant reference to the inhumanity of Maoist China (especially for those Chinese old-timers who vividly remember the days of the Cultural Revolution). And off course, the last scene was nothing short of stunning. It begs the viewer to open another box of tissues.

One scene that particularly had me in tears was when Douzi was going through his opium withdrawal and he starts shivering, "It's so cold. Mother, the water's frozen." It was clearly a heart-breaking reference to the earlier days of his arduous youth.

The acting was also superb. Leslie Cheung's portrayal of the effeminate Douzi was hynoptically convincing. (Especially compared to his usual roles in HK action flicks). Gong Li constantly demands our attention with her stunning beauty and charm. Last but not least, Zhang Fengyi's portrayal of the masculine Shitou was excellent. I can't imagine anyone else taking his role.

It's refreshing to see such an intelligent and historic Chinese epic (especially after watching all those deadbrain gun-toting HK action flicks) Director Chen Kaige did a wonderful job portraying the complex and often uneasy love affair between the two stage brothers. He also managed to skillfully express profound themes that resonated throughout the film. Fate, loyalty, class struggle, the parallels between Opera and Life, and other ideas leave the viewer dazed in deep thoughts for hours after the film.

Because of the heavy references to modern Chinese events, some viewers may be confused by this film. While modern Chinese history is not a pre-requisite, I believe knowing the basics would definitely enhance the experience of this film. But nonetheless, this is quite possibly one of the best Chinese films... ever. Take it from me: Rent this one NOW!

Trivia Note: The "struggle scene" (where the Red Guards dragged out Douzi and Shitou in front of the mob for confession) was based upon the real-life experience of Director Chen Kaige. Chen suffered the same fate when he was purged during the Cultural Revolution. In fact, he denounced his own father, an act which he later regretted.

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