A woman (Joey Wang) is cursed with beauty in China and becomes prey for men. Raped by the prefect of her ballet school and sent to work camp, she escapes to decadent Hong Kong by marrying a...
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A woman (Joey Wang) is cursed with beauty in China and becomes prey for men. Raped by the prefect of her ballet school and sent to work camp, she escapes to decadent Hong Kong by marrying a wealthy banker. She finds herself drawn to sadomasochistic affairs and in flashbacks discovers she is the reincarnation of a famous courtesan of ancient China.
A lovely girl growing up in modern China is haunted by flashes of another time, images that start entering her life for real as she comes of age. It gets harder and harder to tell the past and present apart, and she finds that now, as before, her beauty can be more of a curse than a blessing.
The haunting idea that you must let go of the past in order to be free of it, is driven home by the deeply moving performances of a fine cast. The film is lush and beautiful, rewarding the viewer with fascinating glimpses of the Imperial past and the industrial present.
This film was banned in China because it implies that the Revolution hasn't really changed thingspower is still in the hands of the few, only the names and costumes have changed.
I found this film as a rental and had to get my own copy. Its appeal is enduring, and I've enjoyed it more every time I've watched it.
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