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The Emperor and the Assassin

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Genre  Drama, History
Music director  Zhao Jiping
Country  China
7.3/10 IMDb

6.8/10 Letterboxd

Director  Chen Kaige
Initial DVD release  June 13, 2000
Duration  
Language  Mandarin
The Emperor and the Assassin movie poster
Release date  October 8, 1998 (1998-10-08)
Writer  Kaige Chen, Peigong Wang
Cast  Gong Li (Lady Zhao), Zhang Fengyi (Jing Ke), Zhou Sun (Dan, Prince of Yan), Xiaohe Lü (General Fan Yuqi), Wang Zhi-Wen (Marquis Changxin), Chen Kaige (Lu Buwei)
Similar movies  Blackhat, Salt, Shrek the Third, You Only Live Twice, The Kingdom, From Russia With Love

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The Emperor and the Assassin, also known as The First Emperor, is a 1998 - 1999 Chinese historical romance film based primarily on Jing Ke's assassination attempt on the King of Qin, as described in Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian. The film was directed by Chen Kaige and stars Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi, Li Xuejian, and Zhou Xun. The film was well received critically and won the Technical Prize at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. It was the most expensive Chinese film made at the time, costing US$20 million.

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Plot

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The film covers much of Ying Zheng's career, recalling his early experiences as a hostage and foreshadowing his dominance over China. It depicts him essentially as an idealist seeking to impose a peace or unity on the world despite various betrayals and losses. Its story consists of three main incidents: the attempt by Jing Ke to assassinate Ying Zheng in 227 BCE; the (fictitious) rumour of a Chief Minister's having sired the latter before transferring his concubine to become the Queen Dowager; and the story of an official having sired children by the Queen Dowager herself. The first incident is the climax of the film, with earlier scenes foreshadowing it; the other two incidents occur between the fictional genesis and historical manifestation of the first.

The Emperor and the Assassin The Emperor and the Assassin Movie Posters From Movie Poster Shop

In the film, Ying Zheng sends his concubine Lady Zhao to the Yan state as a spy to enlist a Yan assassin to attempt to assassinate him, intending to use that as a casus belli to start a war against Yan. Lady Zhao persuades Jing Ke to perform the assassination. After learning of Ying Zheng's massacre of the children in her home state of Zhao, Lady Zhao desires the assassination in earnest. The attempt fails, but Ying Zheng expresses his fury when his associates make no attempt to stop the assassin and he is forced to kill Jing Ke himself. He is further saddened when Lady Zhao returns to Qin only to retrieve Jing Ke for burial.

Cast

The Emperor and the Assassin The Emperor and the Assassin AsianWiki
  • Gong Li as Lady Zhao
  • Zhang Fengyi as Jing Ke
  • Li Xuejian as Ying Zheng
  • Gu Yongfei as Queen Dowager
  • Wang Zhiwen as Lao Ai
  • Lü Xiaohe as Fan Yuqi
  • Sun Zhou as Crown Prince Dan of Yan
  • Chen Kaige as Lü Buwei
  • Pan Changjiang as prison official
  • Zhou Xun as blind girl
  • Cong Zhijun as old official
  • Li Longyin as shop owner
  • Li Qiang as Han messenger
  • Zhao Benshan as Gao Jianli
  • Ding Haifeng as Qin Wuyang
  • Hu Yang as young official
  • Zhang Shen as dwarf
  • Li Hongtao as Li Si
  • Wei Chao as Doujiyan
  • Han Dong as Qin cart driver
  • Li Zhonglin as Qin prison guard
  • Liu Tielian as palace ritual eunuch
  • Kong Qinsan as face tattooist
  • Xie Zengran as younger Wang brother
  • Chang Tao as older Wang brother
  • Zhang Jinzhan as Yan ambassador
  • Zhao Yanguo as artist
  • Lin Luyue as warrior
  • Liu Jiacheng as warrior
  • Chu Xu as warrior
  • Liu Bo as warrior
  • Liu Liang as warrior
  • Awards

    The Emperor and the Assassin The Emperor and the Assassin 1998

    The Emperor and the Assassin won the Technical Grand Prize at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and was in competition for the Palme d'Or. Zhao Fei was awarded the 1999 Golden Rooster Award for Best Cinematography.

    Background

    The Emperor and the Assassin Rent The Emperor and the Assassin aka Jing Ke ci Qin Wang 1998

    Chen Kaige noted upon the film's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival that he hoped The Emperor and the Assassin would hold relevance to the events of the time, notably the Yugoslav Wars.


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    The Emperor and the Assassin Li Gong in The Emperor and the Assassin burns disfiguring
    The Emperor and the Assassin The Emperor and the Assassin 4K PREVIEW 2014 YouTube

    References

    The Emperor and the Assassin Wikipedia
    The Emperor and the Assassin IMDbThe Emperor and the Assassin Rotten TomatoesThe Emperor and the Assassin LetterboxdThe Emperor and the Assassin MetacriticThe Emperor and the Assassin themoviedb.org


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