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A Touch of Zen
Directed by King Hu • 1971 • Hong Kong, Taiwan
Starring Hsu Feng, Shih Chun, Bai Ying
"Visionary" barely begins to describe this masterpiece of Chinese cinema and martial arts moviemaking. A TOUCH OF ZEN (Xia nu) by King Hu depicts the journey of Yang, a fugitive noblewoman in disguise who seeks refuge in a remote, and allegedly haunted, village. The sanctuary she and her three companions find with a shy scholar is shattered when a nefarious swordsman uncovers her identity, pitting the five against legions of blade-wielding opponents. At once a wuxia film, the tale of a spiritual quest, and a study in human nature, A TOUCH OF ZEN is an unparalleled work in Hu's formidable career and an epic of the highest order, characterized by breathtaking action choreography, stunning widescreen landscapes, and innovative editing.