Cinema Simply Different

The Chinese history of the 20th century, including the terrors of the cultural revolution, build the backdrop for the personal melodrama which enfolds between the two stars of the Peking Opera Dieyi and Xialou. Since childhood the two have trained for their roles in the opera “Farewell My Concubine”, Dieyi as the concubine and Xialou as the emperor. And they are not only struggling with their living circumstances, but also with their unequal feelings for each other.

Artfully the film holds the balance between the realistic portrayal of the living conditions of the times and the magical illusion that is the world of the opera. Chen Kaige is able to create a dense and at the same time extensive film with great emotional depth. At first it was only censored in China, then forbidden, but in the end allowed to be shown again. This also might be because of the great international praise the film received, especially after winning the golden palm in 1993.

Isabel Leder

Übersetzung: Isabel Leder

Other films in this program