Farewell my Concubine, the only Chinese language film to ever win the Cannes Palme d’Or, is one of the central works of the Fifth Generation movement, a movement which finally brought Chinese film directors to world attention.
An adaptation of the novel by Lilian Lee, the film explores the effect of China’s political turmoil during the mid-20th century on the lives of individuals, families and groups. Spanning 53 years, the film is two films at once, a tale of the friendship of two men against the historical backdrop of a country in upheaval. The central characters, Dieyi and Xiaolou, are two apprentices in the Peking Opera, the film examines how their lives are affected by major political changes such as the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s and the victory of the communists in 1949 - alongside the story of a woman who comes between them.
The multi award-winning film regularly tops film polls and is regarded as a modern day epic.
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