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Encyclopedia > Farewell My Concubine (film)
Farewell My Concubine

Movie poster Cannes Film Festival
Directed by Chen Kaige
Produced by Hsu Feng
Written by Lilian Lee (also novel)
Lei Bik-Wa
Lu Wei
Starring Leslie Cheung
Zhang Fengyi
Gong Li
Music by Zhao Jiping
Cinematography Gu Changwei
Editing by Pei Xiaonan
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date(s) 15 October 1993
Running time 171 min.
Language Mandarin
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Farewell My Concubine is a 1993 Chinese film directed by Chen Kaige which depicts the effects of various Chinese political turmoils during the 20th century on a Peking opera troupe. Its Chinese title is Bàwáng Bié Jī (Traditional Chinese: 霸王別姬, Simplified Chinese: 霸王别姬), which literally translates as The Overlord Leaves his Concubine. Image File history File links Farewell1. ... Cannes Film Festival logo. ... Chen Kaige (Simplified Chinese: 陈凯歌; Traditional Chinese: 陳凱歌; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chen Kai-ko) (born August 12, 1952) is a famous Chinese film director. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Liu Wei (born 1972, China) is an artist based in Beijing. ... Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing (September 12, 1956 – April 1, 2003) (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Cantonese IPA: , Jyutping: zoeng1 gwok3 wing4; Mandarin Pinyin: Zhāng Guóróng, Wade-Giles: Chang Kuo-jung; nickname Gor-gor (哥哥, Elder Brother in Cantonese), was an actor and a musician from Hong Kong. ... Zhang Fengyi (张丰毅) (born September 1, 1956) is a Chinese actor. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is Gong Gong Li (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (born December 31, 1965) is a Chinese film actress. ... Zhao Jiping (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (b. ... Gu Changwei (born December 12, 1957) is a Chinese cinematographer and film director. ... Miramax Films is a film production and distribution brand that was a Big Ten film motion picture distribution and production company headquartered in New York City before being bought out by The Walt Disney Company. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Mandarin (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; literally speech of officials), or Beifanghua (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; literally Northern Dialect(s)), is a category of related Chinese dialects spoken across most of northern and south-western China. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... Chen Kaige (Simplified Chinese: 陈凯歌; Traditional Chinese: 陳凱歌; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chen Kai-ko) (born August 12, 1952) is a famous Chinese film director. ... In Beijing, September 2002 Beijing opera or Peking opera (京剧, pinyin: Jīngjù) is a kind of Chinese opera which arose in the mid-19th century and was extremely popular in the Qing dynasty court. ... Traditional Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字, Simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字) refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


The film is considered by critics to be one of the central works of the Fifth Generation movement that brought the Chinese film directors of that period to world attention.[citation needed] Like several other Fifth Generation films, Farewell My Concubine explores the effect of China's turbulent political landscape during the mid-20th century on human lives. In this case, the lives are those of two Peking opera performers and the woman who comes between them. The history of Chinese language cinema has three separate threads of development: Cinema of Hong Kong, Cinema of China, and Cinema of Taiwan. ... In Beijing, September 2002 Beijing opera or Peking opera (京剧, pinyin: Jīngjù) is a kind of Chinese opera which arose in the mid-19th century and was extremely popular in the Qing dynasty court. ...


The film is an adaptation of the novel by Lilian Lee. This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...

Contents

Synopsis

The story begins in 1924 with the introduction of Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung), the unwanted child of a Beijing prostitute. Dieyi, who possesses the noticeable birth defect of a superfluous finger, is seen as a burden to his mother, and so she pleads with a local opera troupe to take him under his wing. The troupe refuses because of the boy's unfortunate condition, so his mother in desperation amputates the boy's extra finger with a butcher knife. Now allowed to be a member of the troupe, Dieyi quickly attaches himself to Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi), a young actor with talent, bravado, and a short temper. 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing (September 12, 1956 – April 1, 2003) (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Cantonese IPA: , Jyutping: zoeng1 gwok3 wing4; Mandarin Pinyin: Zhāng Guóróng, Wade-Giles: Chang Kuo-jung; nickname Gor-gor (哥哥, Elder Brother in Cantonese), was an actor and a musician from Hong Kong. ... Beijing (Chinese: 北京; pinyin: BÄ›ijÄ«ng; IPA: ;  ), a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Polydactyly, or polydactylism, also known as hyperdactyly is the anatomical variant consisting of more than the usual number of digits on the hands and/or feet. ... Zhang Fengyi (张丰毅) (born September 1, 1956) is a Chinese actor. ...


The children of the troupe endure brutal, austere, and traumatizing training. After Dieyi and Laizi, the charismatic leader of the bunch, escape and finally get a taste of the outside world and some candied crab apples, they watch Beijing opera performers. Dieyi, struck by their performance and the applause of the audience, cries and decides they should head back to the troupe. The brutal punishment for escaping is bestowed first on Deiyi. Laizi, who watches from a hidden perch, is further traumatized by what he witnesses and furiously begins to eat the rest of the crab applies. Seeing no end in sight to the daily misery and rigors of training, he hangs himself. Dieyi is trained to play female roles, particularly the title role of the traditional Chinese opera play Farewell My Concubine. When he kept forgetting his line "By nature I'm a girl, not a boy," he faces severe punishment both from the master of the troupe and Xiaolou. Eventually, he is able to overcome his natural tendency and reveals a great talent for acting. However, his stage charisma brings new problems: after an impressive performance as the Concubine, he is raped by an old and influential patron. At the same time, Xiaolou learns to hone his skills as a jing, a painted-face male lead. Dan(æ—¦) is the general name for the female roles in Chinese opera. ... Farewell My Concubine is the English title of a play often performed in the Chinese Peking Opera. ... In Beijing, September 2002 Beijing opera or Peking opera (京剧, pinyin: Jīngjù) is a kind of Chinese opera which arose in the mid-19th century and was extremely popular in the Qing dynasty court. ...


Both Dieyi and Xiaolou graduate from the troupe and become renowned stars of the Peking opera scene. The adult Dieyi takes on feminine behaviour offstage as well as on. It becomes apparent that Dieyi is in love with Xiaolou, but the sexual aspects of his affection are not returned. When they become a hit in Beijing, a patron slowly courts Dieyi also after falling in love with Dieyi's character. Xiaolou, in the meantime, takes a liking to Juxian (Gong Li), a headstrong courtesan at the upscale "house of flowers." (Although she is later accused of being a "prostitute," she was somewhat more elevated than Dieyi's mother in the first part of the film). Xiaolou intervenes when a mob of drunk men harass Juxian and conjures up a ruse to get the men to leave her alone, saying that they are announcing their engagement. Juxian later buys her freedom and, deceiving him into thinking she was thrown out, pressures Xiaolou to keep his word. When Xiaolou announces his engagement to Juxian, Dieyi and Xiaolou have a falling out. This is a Chinese name; the family name is Gong Gong Li (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (born December 31, 1965) is a Chinese film actress. ...


The complex relationship between these three characters is then tested under the stress of the drastic political upheaval that encompasses China from the onset of the Second Sino-Japanese War. From there, it examines both the characters' lives and the Chinese perception of Peking opera as they both endure the Kuomintang regime, the Chinese Revolution, and the Cultural Revolution. The portrayal of these events led the film to be initially banned in China upon its release. Combatants Republic of China Empire of Japan Commanders Chiang Kai-shek, Chen Cheng, Yan Xishan, Feng Yuxiang, Li Zongren, Xue Yue, Mao Zedong, Peng Dehuai Fumimaro Konoe, Hideki Tojo, Matsui Iwane, Jiro Minami, Kesago Nakajima, Toshizo Nishio, Yasuji Okamura, Umezu Yoshijiro Strength 5,600,000 4,100,000 (including 900... The Kuomintang of China (abbreviation KMT) (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Tongyong Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chung1-kuo2 Kuo2-min2-tang3) [1], also often translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Republic of China, now on Taiwan, and is currently the largest political party in... The Chinese Revolution may refer to: The Xinhai Revolution of 1911-1912, which led to the founding of the Republic of China, also known as the Republican Revolution. ... The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; literally Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution; often abbreviated to 文化大革命 wénhuà dà gémìng, literally Great Cultural Revolution, or even simpler, to 文革 wéngé, Cultural Revolution) in the Peoples Republic of China was a struggle for power within the...


Source text

Running parallel with the film is the Peking opera play that is also known as Farewell My Concubine. As Dieyi and Xiaolou gain fame and notoriety within Peking opera's social circles, this play becomes Dieyi and Xiaolou's staple act and is performed numerous times throughout the film. The play is not nearly as long as the film may make it seem, and can actually be performed from start to finish within fifteen minutes. Farewell My Concubine is the English title of a play often performed in the Chinese Peking Opera. ...


The events in the film parallel the play. The Concubine's fatal devotion to her doomed emperor is echoed by Dieyi's devotion to Xiaoluo. At one point in the film, Xiaoluo snaps to Dieyi, "I'm just an actor playing an emperor. You really are Yu Ji." The parallels between the play's Concubine and the film's Dieyi culminate at the end of the film when Dieyi kills himself.


Awards and nominations

DVD cover for Farewell My Concubine (US)

Image File history File links DVD cover for Farewell My Concubine File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links DVD cover for Farewell My Concubine File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... This is a list of film-related events in 1992. ... Cannes Film Festival logo. ... // March 31 - Actor Brandon Lee is accidentally killed during the filming of The Crow. ... Palme dOr The Palme dOr (Golden Palm) is the highest prize given to a film at the Cannes Film Festival. ... The Piano is a 1993 film about a mute pianist and her daughter, set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier New Zealand backwater. ... BAFTA Award The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is a British organisation that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, childrens film and television, and interactive media. ... The Mainichi Film Awards are a series of annual animation awards, sponsored by Mainichi Shinbun (毎日新聞), one of the largest newspaper companies in Japan, since the end of the World War II. Following the death of pioneering animator ŌFUJI Noburō (大藤信郎) in 1961, Mainichi established a new Ōfuji Noburō Award in his... The Golden Globe Awards are American awards for motion pictures and television programs, given out each year during a formal dinner. ... For the main article see Golden Globe Awards. ... The Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC) is organization of film reviewers from Boston, Massachusetts, United States, based publications. ... New York Film Critics Circle Awards are given annually to honor excellence in cinema worldwide by an organization of film reviewers from New York City-based publications. ... The Political Film Society is a nonprofit corporation that exists to recognize Hollywood films ability to raise awareness in political matters in the world. ... Gu Changwei (born December 12, 1957) is a Chinese cinematographer and film director. ... Gu Changwei (born December 12, 1957) is a Chinese cinematographer and film director. ... 65th Academy Awards Hosts Preshow: Show: Crew Producer: Director: Duration Network The 65th Academy Awards were presented March 29, 1993 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. ... The Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Foreign Language Film is a yearly US award for the best film in a language other than English, released in the period October - September in the country of origin. ... The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is awarded each year to a cinematographer for his work in one particular motion picture. ... Gu Changwei (born December 12, 1957) is a Chinese cinematographer and film director. ... The César Award is the national film award of France first given out in 1975. ... // November 1 - George Lucas leaves the day-to-day operations of his filmmaking business and starts a sabbatical (while on sabbatical, he wrote the prequel Star Wars trilogy). ... César Award for Best Foreign Film: 1976: Scent of a Woman (Italy), directed by Dino Risi 1977: We All Loved Each Other So Much (Italy), directed by Ettore Scola 1978: A Special Day (Italy), directed by Ettore Scola 1979: The Tree with the Wooden Clogs (Italy), directed by Ermanno... Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing (September 12, 1956 – April 1, 2003) (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Cantonese IPA: , Jyutping: zoeng1 gwok3 wing4; Mandarin Pinyin: Zhāng Guóróng, Wade-Giles: Chang Kuo-jung; nickname Gor-gor (哥哥, Elder Brother in Cantonese), was an actor and a musician from Hong Kong. ...

See also

The history of Chinese language cinema has three separate threads of development: Cinema of Hong Kong, Cinema of China, and Cinema of Taiwan. ... The cinema of Hong Kong is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside the cinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan. ...

External links

Preceded by
The Best Intentions
Palme d'Or
1993
tied with The Piano
Succeeded by
Pulp Fiction
Preceded by
Indochine
Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film
1994
Succeeded by
Farinelli
Preceded by
Raise the Red Lantern
BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language
1993
Succeeded by
To Live

 
 

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