During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.
It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »
In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin's three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory. Written by
(at around 25 mins) When Nameless goes outside to help Flying Snow to fend off arrows, he shuts the door. Then later we still can see the door open. See more »
I was orphaned at a young age and was never given a name. People simply called me Nameless. With no family name to live up to, I devoted myself to the sword. I spent ten years perfecting unique skills as a swordsman. The King of Qin has summoned me to court, for what I have accomplished has astonished the kingdom.
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First, there are scenes of haunting beauty("Duel in the yellow forest" and "Turquoise autumn" to site a couple) that, like the best of impressionist paintings, are so affecting that you will forever see the world in a slightly different way having once beheld them.
Secondly, the overall message of the film is a provocative one. The claim is that a degree of human casualties and suffering may be the optimal path to a better world, especially when the alternative is equally brutal chaos. This is not a popular theme. It has become much more fashionable to be anti-war in all cases. And understandably so, since variations of this logic have often been used in the past to justify atrocities. But the film provides a crisp litmus test for avoiding delusion: action must be taken with a heart void of malice and an unwavering commitment to the broadest possible ultimate outcome of good for all. Can anyone live up to this standard? Several characters in the movie do, each in their own way. If the standard could be met, would the world be a better place? These are questions worth reflecting on that have not been dealt with, to this depth, in any film I'm aware of.
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