SHADOW
YING
2018, Well Go USA, 116 min, China/Hing Kong, Dir: Zhang Yimou

Swapping his usual vibrant color palette for an aesthetic largely inspired by the Chinese ink-wash painting tradition of shuimohua, Zhang Yimou (HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, RAISE THE RED LANTERN) presents another slice of war and intrigue set in the historically rich period of the Three Kingdoms (AD 220-280). The King of Pei (Zheng Kai) aims to conquer or destroy everything in his path, and while he is served by his loyal military commander (Deng Chao), his court teems with machinations. To deceive enemies both within and outside the kingdom, the commander has cultivated a look-alike “shadow” (also played by Deng) who can easily trick just about anyone. The stage is set for a battle to control the walled city of Jing - an explosive and treacherous confrontation that few will survive. An enthralling ancient painting come to life, this magnificent epic combines stunning visuals with an intricate plot that will both delight and surprise fans of the genre.


THE FLOWERS OF WAR
JIN LING SHI SAN CHAI
2011, Wrekin Hill/Row 1, 145 min, China, Dir: Zhang Yimou

Based on the novel 'The 13 Women Of Nanjing,' this epic war drama is set in 1937 during the second Sino-Japanese War. Oscar-winner Christian Bale plays John Haufman, an American missionary at a Catholic church in Nanjing, China. When the Japanese invade, a group of schoolgirls and local prostitutes seek sanctuary on the church grounds and Haufman becomes their protector. One of the most expensive productions ever mounted in China, THE FLOWERS OF WAR expertly balances terrifying battle sequences with intimate personal moments as the world closes in on these young women and their priest. In Mandarin and English.


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