Farewell, My Concubine (Ba Wang Bie Ji)


(out of 5)

If this excellent Chinese drama ended sooner it would have been a much better film, but even at its excessive running time it is an eye-popping spectacle. Leslie Cheung is excellent as an opera singer who was sold to the Peking Opera as a child and grows up to be a famous performer in his country. The story plays out like a love triangle between him, the man he loves, and the man’s wife (Gong Li), while the background attempts to squeeze a whole dollop of Chinese history into one film. It doesn’t always succeed, especially in its last third, but it’s great to look at and often quite inspiring.

Beijing Film Studio, China Film Co-Production Corporation, Maverick Picture Company, Tomson Films

China/Hong Kong, 1993

Directed by

Screenplay by , , based on the novel by Pik Wah Lee

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1993

Cannes Film Festival 1993

Golden Globe Awards 1993

New York Film Critics Awards 1993.  

Toronto International Film Festival 1993

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