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Shadow

Rated 14 Accompaniment (Violence) ~ Runs 116 minutes

Dir.: Zhang Yimou, China/Hong Kong, 2018

Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zheng Kai
In Mandarin with English subtitles


“Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern) is the winner of top prizes at all three major European international festivals, and a rare Chinese director to have had big commercial successes in the U.S. (Hero, House Of Flying Daggers)... His new film is something of a triumph, and the best thing he’s done in at least a decade. Shadow is set in the third century, during the time of the Three Kingdoms, and centers on Yu, the brilliant military commander of the Pei Kingdom. After years of battle had taken their toll, Yu replaced himself with an identical ‘shadow’ named Jing (also played by Deng), with only Yu’s wife Madam aware of the difference. The young king seeks peace with a neighboring nation who have occupied one of their cities by marrying off his sister, but Yu is determined that the city should be taken back properly and through violent means, and sets out to use Jing for that purpose... This is a filmmaker in total command of every visual element -a special mention has to go to the extraordinary costumes - but it doesn’t feel stifling or precious either. I can’t think of a film this year that’s been such a pleasure to look at. And the action, when it comes, absolutely bangs... The result is some of the most kinetic, inventive, and thrilling sequences that Chinese cinema - or any cinema, really - has seen in a long while... A gorgeous-looking, deeply thrilling action film, and a return to the top tier of his work for a great director.” - Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist



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