Part of Restoration Roundup
Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) and Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi) grow up enduring the harsh training of the Peking Opera Academy, where instructors regularly beat the students to instill in them the discipline needed to master the complex physical and vocal techniques of this ancient art. As the two boys mature, they develop complementary talents: Dieyi, with his fine, delicate features, assumes the female roles, while Xiaolou plays masculine warlords. Their dramatic identities become real for Dieyi when he falls in love with Xiaolou, who fails to fully reciprocate his affections and marries a courtesan, Juxian (Gong Li), creating a dangerous, jealousy-filled romantic triangle.
Hailed as a “cultural achievement” (New York Times) and widely considered one of the most important motion pictures ever made, FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE is a “gorgeous, intoxicating epic” (Los Angeles Times) that is both “visually spectacular” and “sumptuous in every respect” (Time Out). Spanning 50 years from the early 20th century to the tumultuous Cultural Revolution, Chen Kaige’s passionate, exquisitely shot film captures the vast historical scope of a changing country while revealing the intimate and touching details of a unique, tender, heartrending love story. Based on the bestselling novel by Lillian Lee, it was selected as one of the “100 Best Films in Global History” by TIME Magazine, was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and remains the only Chinese-language film to ever win the Palme d’Or.
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, this recently restored 4K version of this masterwork comes to North American theaters, where audiences in the U.S. and Canada will be able to see the complete, uncut film (20 minutes longer than its original Miramax theatrical release) on screen for the first time ever.
“Takes place in a world unlike most of those occupied by its viewers, but the emotions and empathetic storytelling make it current and resonant. Like a great opera, Chen's film will transcend centuries and maintain its power.” —Brian Tallerico, rogerebert.com “Old-fashioned in form but modern in psychological dynamic, it’s a film that you can lose yourself in, that washes over you like a warm and enveloping mist.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times “As both a monumental piece of Chinese cinematic history and a lasting tribute to the special brilliance of its star, FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE is an essential viewing experience.” —Lee Jutton, Film Inquiry