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Ren gui qing (1987)

Not Rated | | Drama | 1 January 1987 (China)
The fictional life and career of a famous actress in Chinese opera, a woman who goes against tradition by specializing in playing male roles, especially that of Zhang Kui, a benevolent ... See full summary »


Shuqin Huang
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Shouli Xu Shouli Xu ... Qiu Yun
Baotian Li ... Father
Qiling Ji Qiling Ji ... Teacher Zhang
Yanling Pei Yanling Pei ... Zhong Kui
Lin Gong Lin Gong ... Qiu Yun (teenager)
Felfel Wang Felfel Wang ... Qiu Yun (child)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Debao An Debao An
Li Cun Li Cun
Qinggang Liang Qinggang Liang
Naichang Ren Naichang Ren ... Liu Qiang
Yuan Shi Yuan Shi
Yining Song Yining Song


The fictional life and career of a famous actress in Chinese opera, a woman who goes against tradition by specializing in playing male roles, especially that of Zhang Kui, a benevolent ghost who appears in several Chinese operas. Although the actress's career brings wealth and fame, it is attained only through considerable struggle against an anti-female system and an unhappy personal life. Written by <dmarion1@attbi.com>

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Not Rated






Release Date:

1 January 1987 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Woman-Demon-Human See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shanghai Film Studios See more »
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User Reviews

A master Chinese film not so known.
6 October 2005 | by nonon99_99See all my reviews

Ren Gui Qing (roughly translated as Human, Ghost and love) is called the first Chinese feminism film. Why so, there are many reasons, such as its protagonist being a woman and its autobiographic style which feminism writings always have. More importantly this film depicts a soul, dislocated in a rigorously classified society, can only find sympathy and comfort in her projected self on the stage. It happens that this soul is a woman and perhaps not so surprising, her self-projection is Zhong Kui, a masculine spirit of low rank in Chinese mythology.

The film is basic on a true story. The actress acts her real life. Being a little girl,she was bred as a boy to survive in a local traditional opera company. When she grew up, she was compelled to have a marriage without love and her once true love led to betrayal and suffering. She found no position in that male dominated society. In dream, she encountered Zhong Kui, the ghost hunter whom she famously acts in theatre, they had a bitter dialogue.

What fascinating about this film is its allegoric aspect, it could be about a woman, a precious art tradition, or any individual. They are all situated in a peculiar society and have problematic existence. Its abundant images of traditional arts, vivid portrayal of Chinese lives and depiction of inner world, make itself a valuable document of Chinese thoughts in 1980s.

The music is quite interesting, it is really surprising to hear tunes from traditional opera played on piano, surrounded by texture of orchestra. The profound association with old Chinese operatic art is a major feature here. Saying Chinese films as such, people usually think about those by Zhang Yi-mou and Chen Kai-ge. Yet this film surpass theirs. Without pretence, it touches you in a comfortable way. I hope this film not forgotten, and reaches more audiences.

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