|The King of Masks (1996)
Wu Tian Ming
Chao Yim Yin, Chu Yuk, Zhang Zhi Gang
The King of
Masks tells a tale steeped in
ancient tradition, simultaneously challenging the
sociosexual inequity still plaguing China today.
On the streets of
Szechuan Province in the 1930s, the aged King of Masks,
sole living master of "change-face" opera,
delights and frightens audiences with the secret art of
lightning-quick mask-shifting. His fondest wish is to
pass on his skill to a male heir before he dies.
impersonator Liang Sao Lang craves knowledge of the
king's secret technique, offering to relieve the old
man's poverty by taking him into his opera troupe. The
king declines: what sort of heir would this half-female
creature make? Instead, he buys an orphan on the black
market, joyously showing him off as his grandson and
But soon the child
is forced to disclose a dreaded secret--one that
effectively renders him a person of no value according to
Chinese custom. In the king's eyes, the kid goes from
"beloved grandson" to "stupid crook,"
and both the old man and the child must pay dearly for
his bigotry before they can know joy again. A deeply
moving film, simply told and superbly acted.
great movie! Highly recommended!
List Price: US$16.95
English / Traditional Chinese
Regions (DVD can be played on any DVD
player in the world)
I - Suitable
for all audiences (roughly equal to an MPPA rating of
"G" or "PG") Films rated Category I
contain nothing most parents will consider offensive for
their children to see or hear. Nudity, drug use, explicit
language, violence and adult situations are largely
absent, and if present are seen only briefly and at a