Not far from Shanghai, in a country twon stands the palatial home of the Pang family. Old Master Pang is an addict who brings up his beautiful daughter Ruyi on opium smoke. Her older ... See full summary »
Zhou Yu, a ceramic decorative artist, travels twice a week from her home town of San Ming to Chongyang to visit her boyfriend, Chen Qing, a government worker and budding poet. The two met ... See full summary »
A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... See full summary »
To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose entire clan was massacred at the hands of a nefarious minister, a doctor sacrifices his own son; after the Zhao child grows up, the doctor becomes intent on seeking his vengeance.
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband's nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband's heir without ... See full summary »
Gong Li stars in this low-key drama about a single mother who will do anything to provide for her son. Sun Liying (Li) struggles to care for her hearing-impaired child Zheng Da (Gao Xin) after her taxi driver husband divorces.
In the 3rd Century BC, Ying Zheng, heir to the Kingdom of Qin, seeks to dominate the remaining six Chinese kingdoms. Ying's strategy is to seem invincible. Ying sends his concubine Zhao to the Han Kingdom as a spy, to enlist an assassin he can conquer. Zhao persuades Jing Ke, but falls in love. Written by
The Xianyang palace was reconstructed in its entirety in the city of Dongyang in Zhenjiang province. Much of the film, including the final scene, was shot there. It is now being preserved as a theme park drawing large numbers of tourists. In addition, the capital cities of the other kingdoms featured in the film, Yan Zhao and Han, were constructed as several sights across China. All have been meticulously built to scale with special attention paid to their historical accuracy. See more »
Love, death and moral choices in a historical epic of China
Based on the actual event , this epic, is set in the year 221 B.C and tells the true story of the unification of China. Action packed and filled with intrigue, passion, betrayals and unforgettable battle sequences, it held my attention throughout in spite of its 160 minute length.
The king, Ying Zeng, played by Li Xuejian is obsessed with unifying the seven kingdoms of China and becoming its first Emperor. His lover, Lady Zhao, played by the beautiful actress Gong Li, devises a plot whereby she will travel to the neighboring kingdom of Yan to set a fake assassination plot in motion which will give the king an excuse to invade Yan. However, she falls in love with the assassin as the king becomes more and more ruthless.
There are subplots, and tragedy and constant high drama. There are scenes of great beauty and of abject cruelty. There is great cinematography and brilliant use of physical space.
The deep characterization made me think of Shakespeare. And tragic events that call to mind Greek drama. And yet it is totally Chinese as it deals with age-old questions of whether the ends justify the means. And raises the questions dealing with life and death and good and evil and all the blurred edges in between.
It is the story of individuals against the backdrop of history, a history that has shaped China for the past two thousand years. I was swept up in the story as well as the moral questions raised. There are no easy answers and this was one of the strengths of the movie.
Recommended. But be prepared for the violence and gore.
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