狄仁杰之通天帝国 | Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Detective Dee

In 689 A.D., the Empress Wu Zetian is building a 66 m high statue of Buddha for her inauguration as the first empress of China under the objections and conspiracy of the other clans. When the engineer responsible for the construction mysteriously dies by spontaneous combustion, the superstitious workers are afraid since the man removed the good luck charms from the main pillar. There is an investigation of Pei Donglai and another investigator that also dies after withdrawing the amulets. Empress Wu assigns her loyal assistant Shangguan Jing’er to release the exiled Detective Dee from his imprisonment to investigate with Donglai and Jing’er the mystery of the deaths. They ride in a mystic and epic adventure to unravel the mystery.

Directed by Hark Tsui | Starring : Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Bingbing Li, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Chao Deng | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival, Nagaoka Film Festival

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紫蝴蝶 | Purple Butterfly

Purple Butterfly

1928. Manchuria. Itami, a young Japanese man, falls deeply in love with Cynthia, a beautiful Chinese girl. Their brief happiness ends when he is called home for his military service and they are forced to part. Returning sorrowfully from the train station where she has bid her lover farewell, Cynthia witnesses her brother’s bloody murder at the hands of Japanese right-wing extremists. Three years later, Shanghai has been unofficially occupied by Japan. The city is tense, rife with violence and barely contained anarchy. Cynthia – now known as Ding Hui – is working for Purple Butterfly, a resistance group planning to assassinate Yamamoto, head of the Japanese secret service. Itami is also in Shanghai, operating as a secret agent and reporting directly to Yamamoto. Arriving at Shanghai station to meet his fiancée, Szeto, a young Chinese man, is mistaken by the assembled resistance fighters for the assassin they have engaged to eliminate Yamamoto. Violence erupts and Szeto’s fiancée is shot dead in the crossfire. Szeto escapes with the Purple Butterfly members, all of whom believe him to be the hired killer. Only Ding Hui realises the truth… Thus three destinies are linked by chance, and three fates set in tragic motion.

Directed by Ye Lou | Starring : Ziyi Zhang, Ye Liu, Yuanzheng Feng, Tôru Nakamura, Bingbing Li | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Munich Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival

过年回家 | Seventeen Years

Seventeen Years

A modest family is destined for tragedy due to the tense rivalry between two teenage stepsisters. In a fit of rage, Tao Lan accidentally kills her stepsister. Seventeen years later, she is part of the inmates selected for a furlough during the brief New Year holiday. Chen Jie, a young female guard notices that Tao Lan stays behind and does not seem to wish to go out. She escorts the solitary Tao Lan, now a stranger to life outside prison, to her old neighborhood. Tao Lan’s house has long been demolished due to wild demolitions and new constructions in Tianjin. Late in the evening, the two women arrive at the new home of Tao Lan’s aged parents, and Chen Jie witnesses the fragile emotional exchanges of a painful family reunion…

Directed by Yuan Zhang | Starring : Lin Liu, Bingbing Li, Yeding Li, Song Liang, Yun Li | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Gijón Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Jakarta Film Festival, Fajr Film Festival

红玫瑰白玫瑰 | Red Rose, White Rose

Red Rose White Rose

Internationally-renowned director Stanley Kwan directs Red Rose White Rose, an acclaimed drama set in 1920s China. Zhen Bao is a well-to-do playboy whose relationships with two different women are explored in a fascinating, compelling manner. Mrs. Wang is the “Red Rose”, an extroverted housewife neglected by her husband. Her affair with Zhen Bao is stormy and passionate, and ultimately all-too-brief. Men Yan Li is the “White Rose”, an introverted, seemingly-slow woman whom Zhen Bao marries, then comes to slowly disregard. Told in a romantic, boldly opaque narrative style, Red Rose White Rose presents the passions and personal voices of each character in different, sometimes conflicting ways. The result is a compelling, beautifully-mounted drama that ranks as one of Stanley Kwan’s most assured works.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Winston Chao, Joan Chen, Veronica Yip, Sabine Bail, Hsing-kuo Wu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival