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Farewell My Concubine (1993) - movie overview

Farewell My Concubine (1993)

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Plot Description

Original title: Ba wang bie ji

Release Date
 USA: Oct 15, 1993
DVD Release Date
 R1: Dec 14, 1999

MPAA Rating
Rated R for language and strong depiction of thematic material.

Running Time
2 hours, 51 minutes

Country China, Hong Kong

More info on

Other Titles
• Farewell My Concubine (1993)
• Ba wang bie ji

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Genre: Romance, Drama, Betrayal, Love Triangle, Society, Gay/Lesbian, Experimental, Drugs, Political, Prostitution, Period Piece

Plot: In Chen Kaige's adaptation of the Lilian Lee novel, Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) and Duan Xiaolou (Fengyi Zhang) grow up enduring the harsh training of the Peking Opera Academy, where instructors regularly beat the children as a means of instilling in them the discipline needed to master the complex physical and vocal technique. As the two boys mature, they develop complementary talents: Dieyi, with his fine, delicate features, assumes the female roles while the burlier Xiaolou plays masculine warlords. Their dramatic identities become real for Dieyi when he falls in love with Xiaolou; the resolutely heterosexual Xiaolou, however, marries a courtesan, Juxian (Gong Li), creating a dangerous, jealousy-filled romantic triangle. Spanning 50 years from the early part of the 20th century to the tumultuous Cultural Revolution, Kaige's passionate, exquisitely shot film captures the vast historical scope of a changing world (and the mesmerizing pageantry of the opera) while also providing the intimate and touching details of a unique, tender, heartrending love story.

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 Directed by
Kaige Chen
Killing Me Softly, The Promise, Feng yue
 Written by
Wei Lu
Leslie Cheung
A Chinese Ghost Story, A Better Tomorrow, A Better Tomorrow II
Fengyi Zhang
The Emperor and the Assassin, The Assassin
Li Gong
Memoirs of a Geisha, 2046, Raise the Red Lantern
Da Ying
Da wan, The White Countess
You Ge
Lifetimes, Tian xia wu zei, Da wan
 Music By
Jiping Zhao
Raise the Red Lantern, The Emperor and the Assassin, Lifetimes

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