Home On Sale Action Children's Comedy Drama Family
Classic Martial Arts Sword Play Thriller TV Dramas Classic Opera  Folklore

Contact Us    Feedback

The Emperor's Shadow

Mandarin and/or Cantonese Multilingual Movies

China Movie

Drama / Historical

 117 Minutes


What is Multi-Lingual DVDs?


The Emperor's Shadow  (1996)


Director:  Chow Hiu Man

Starring: Jiang Wen, Ge You, Hui Cheng, Gwoh Chi Gwan

Epic about China's first emperor, his court musician, and his beautiful daughter. Set circa 200 B.C., the story tells of how the emperor and the musician, friends since boyhood, are torn apart by conflicting emotional claims of loyalty and independence.

At the time, the most expensive Chinese film ever made, The Emperor's Shadow features celebrated actors Jiang Wen (Ying Zheng), Gao Jianli (Ge You), and Xu Qing (Ying's daughter, Yueyang). The film's been called "the most lavish, eyeball-searing Sino-spectacle to date." (San Francisco Bay Guardian).

The film shows what hubris can do to people in high places, where pride goeth before the fall (to paraphrase an old saying). China's first emperor, played by Jiang Wen, is trying to build a kingdom by defeating all others to unify, united under his rule. He feels a national anthem is necessary to bring the people around to the idea of one ruler, one nation. To carry out this plan, he defeats and then recruits Ge You to compose the anthem. The two share a moment together as children--a bond that they later rekindle as adults.

What develops is the intriguing part of the film. We see the emperor steadfast in his belief that he is the one to bring order. Killing to control people is a tool he uses with great abandon. He doesn't think twice when exercising his authority. His "shadow," Ge You, is wholeheartedly against him on all fronts, fearing and loathing his subjugation.

The dialogue is sharp and to the point. The actors are uniformly excellent. The film has a very modern feel to it even though depicting an age far removed from today. What makes this film so compelling is its portrayal of people with idiosyncracies, mood swings, self absorption, stubbornness. Basically, presenting people with their faults. And it is through their faults that they define themselves. A major point that is presented in the film is how blind, to things and surroundings, a person may become when trying to attain one's goal, no matter what that might be.

Features music by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

VCD: List Price: US $17.95

Sale Price: US$8.95

Language: Mandarin

Subtitle: English / Traditional Chinese / Simplified Chinese

All Regions (Can be played on any DVD player in the world)

Full Screen

Rating: IIA - "Some Content May Be Inappropriate For Children" (roughly equal to an MPPA rating of "PG-13") Films rated Category IIA may contain mild violence such as martial arts, mild nudity that is not sexually oriented, mild explicit language and some mild adult situations.