Set in 1920s China, Zhang explores its claustrophobic world of privilege and humiliation. Songlian, an educated 19-year-old beauty, is forced into marriage as the fourth wife of a wealthy and powerful old man. She discovers that the wives have their own separate quarters and servants, and spend most of their time battling to attract their husband's attention. Over the course of a year, Songlian's fury and resentment grow until self-defeating rebellion is all she has. Gong Li is exquisite as the young woman struggling for dignity in a portrayal which is both haunting and tragic.
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Available on VHS
Running time 125 minutes.
Originally from Chinese.
British Acad. 1992: Foreign Film; L.A. Film Critics 1992: Cinematog.; N.Y. Film Critics 1992: Foreign Film; Natl. Soc. Film Critics 1992: Cinematog., Foreign Film.
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