Farewell My Concubine

Farewell My Concubine

Directed by Chen Kaige • 1993 • China
Starring Leslie Cheung, Zhang Fengyi, Gong Li

A long-unavailable landmark of Chinese filmmaking, this passionate, exquisitely shot, Palme d’Or–winning epic spans fifty years—from the early twentieth century to the tumultuous Cultural Revolution—capturing the history of a changing country while revealing the intimate details of a tender, heartrending love story. Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) and Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi) grow up enduring the harsh training of the Peking Opera Academy, where they develop complementary talents: Dieyi, with his delicate features, assumes the female roles (since only men could then be opera actors), while Xiaolou plays masculine warlords. Their dramatic identities become real for Dieyi when he falls in love with Xiaolou, who fails to fully reciprocate his affections and marries a courtesan, Juxian (Gong Li), setting the stage for a dangerous, jealousy-filled romantic triangle.

Farewell My Concubine
  • Farewell My Concubine

    Directed by Chen Kaige • 1993 • China
    Starring Leslie Cheung, Zhang Fengyi, Gong Li

    A long-unavailable landmark of Chinese filmmaking, this passionate, exquisitely shot, Palme d’Or–winning epic spans fifty years—from the early twentieth century to the tumultuous Cultural Revolution—capturing the...