Chinese Movie Farewell My Concubine丨霸王别姬(Ba Wang Bie Ji)

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Chinese movie Farewell My Concubine

Chinese Movie Farewell My Concubine丨霸王别姬(Ba Wang Bie Ji)

Rate in China: 9.6(Very high, No.1 of China local films) 9.4(Very high, top3 of China local films) high,No.2 of China local films)

ChinaGrep Recommended Reasons:
1. A very good story with twists and turns, reflecting the insignificance of people under social changes.
2. It describes several different eras in China, including the early period of the Republic of China, the period of the Anti-Japanese War, the period of Red China, and the period of the Cultural Revolution.
3. A man’s indescribable affection for another man tortures the soul.
4. It involves a lot of knowledge of Peking Opera, and understanding this film is very helpful for understanding Chinese drama culture and Chinese society. If you can fully understand this movie, then congratulations, you no longer need to learn Chinese.
5. There are video resources on Youtube, although they are not genuine, but you can watch them by searching for the title.
6. Although it is old and does not have gorgeous special effects, it is a top 10 movie in China. It is like The Shawshank Redemption and Forrest Gump is for Americans.
7. 4 of China’s top actors and actresses: Zhang Feng Yi, Gong Li, Zhang Guo Rong, Ge You
8. The pinnacle of director Chen Kaige.

Online resouces: has high-definition genuine film sources: click to watch
You can ask search for more resources in ChipaGrep Community or asking for help, we make sure that you can watch it as you want.


Plot(Quote From wikipedia):
In the winter of 1924, Douzi, a boy endowed with feminine features, is taken by his prostitute mother to an all-boys Peking opera troupe supervised by Master Guan. Douzi has an extra finger causing Master Guan to initially reject him from the joining the troupe. Shortly after, Douzi’s mother cuts the extra finger off with a knife and returns him to the troupe with his hand still bleeding, and abandons him. Douzi befriends a fellow student, Shitou.

In 1932, a teenage Douzi is trained to play dan (female roles), while Shitou learns jing (painted face male roles). When practicing the play “Dreaming of the World Outside the Nunnery”, Douzi accidentally substitutes the line “I am by nature a girl, not a boy” with “I am by nature a boy, not a girl,” and is disciplined severely by the instructors. Douzi, along with another student, Laizi, attempts to run away, but Douzi decides to pursue acting seriously after witnessing an opera performance in a theatre. Upon returning, they find the whole troupe being punished for their desertion, and Douzi is beaten. As a result, Laizi hangs himself.

An agent who provides funding for opera plays comes to the troupe to seek potentials. When Douzi repeats the same mistake in front of the agent, Shitou commands for him to start over. Douzi finally whispers, “I am by nature a girl, not a boy.” He delivers the entire monologue successfully, to the joy of the troupe, and secures the agent. The troupe is invited to perform for eunuch Zhang. Shitou and Douzi are brought to Zhang’s house where they find a finely crafted sword, which Douzi promises to give to Shitou one day. Zhang asks to meet Douzi in his room and sexually assaults him. Douzi does not mention this to anyone, but Shitou implicitly knows what happened. On their way home, Douzi adopts an abandoned baby, who later comes under Master Guan’s training.

Memorabilia from the film exhibited at “The Art of Leslie Cheung’s Movie Images”, April 2013, Hong Kong Central Library.
In 1937, on the eve of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Douzi and Shitou become Peking opera stars under stage names Cheng Dieyi and Duan Xiaolou, respectively. Their signature performance is the play Farewell My Concubine, where Dieyi plays the concubine Consort Yu and Xiaolou plays the hero Xiang Yu. Their fame attracts the attention of Yuan Shiqing, a reputable person who attends their performances, and who is enamoured by Dieyi. During a meeting, Dieyi discovers Yuan Shiqing now owns Zhang’s sword, which he gifts to Dieyi. Yuan Shiqing compliments his performance but Dieyi is hesitant to develop a romantic relationship with him. The adult Dieyi has an unrequited love for Xiaolou, but Xiaolou marries Juxian, a headstrong courtesan at an upscale brothel, and Dieyi and Xiaolou’s relationship begins to fall apart. The love triangle between Dieyi, Xiaolou, and Juxian leads to jealousy and betrayal, which is further complicated by the successive political upheavals following the Second Sino-Japanese War. When Master Guan dies, the abandoned baby, now Xiao Si, comes under Dieyi’s training to continue learning dan roles.

When the communist forces win the civil war, Xiao Si becomes an avid follower of the new government. Dieyi’s addiction to opium negatively affects his performances, but he ultimately rehabilitates with the help of Xiaolou and Juxian. Xiao Si nurtures resentment against Dieyi because of his rigorous teachings and usurps his role in Farewell My Concubine during one performance, without anyone telling Dieyi beforehand. Devastated by the betrayal, Dieyi secludes himself and refuses to reconcile with Xiaolou. As the Cultural Revolution continues, the entire opera troupe is put on a struggle session by the Red Guards where, under pressure, Dieyi and Xiaolou accuse each other of counterrevolutionary acts. Dieyi also tells the guards that Juxian was a prostitute. To protect himself from further prosecution, Xiaolou swears that he does not love her and will “make a clean break” with her. Juxian is heartbroken and commits suicide. Afterward, Xiao Si is caught by the Red Guards when he is singing Consort Yu’s lines to the mirror alone in a practice room.

In 1977, Dieyi and Xiaolou reunite, seeming to have mended their relationship. They once again practice Farewell My Concubine; Xiaolou begins with the line “I am by nature a boy,” to which Dieyi makes the same mistake of finishing with “I am not a girl.” As they finish their performance, Dieyi takes Xiaolou’s sword and cuts his own throat, paralleling the concubine’s final act in the opera. Xiaolou turns around in shock, and calls out Dieyi’s name, and before the screen fades to black, he meekly whispers Dieyi’s childhood name: Douzi.

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