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Year: 2010
USA: China Lion Film Distribution
Cast: Masanobu Ando, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye
Director: Wuershan
Country: China, Hong Kong
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)
USA: mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for sequences of stylized violence including some bloody images, brief crude humor and partial nudity
USA Release Date: 18 March 2011


THE BUTCHER, THE CHEF AND THE SWORDSMAN follows the journey of a mystical blade as it passes through the hands of three ambitious men. As the interwoven story unfolds, they find that the blade possesses the power to dramatically change the fate of each of its owners.

The result is a multi-faceted film that successfully entertains on the surface while also exploring the Chinese-Buddhist belief of human vices, or poisons, on a deeper level. According to the philosophy, these three poisons are the root of human suffering.

The butcher (Chopper) represents the first poison, Ignorance, and is symbolized by the pig. The Mute Chef takes on the snake symbolism of Vengeance, the second poison, and the vicious Swordsman (Dugu Cheng) personifies the third poison Greed, represented by the rooster.

The three stories are interwoven, similar to the patterns crafted on the iron case holding the Swordsman’s Black Iron. As a result, is a cyclical story rooted in the three poisons: Ignorance, Vengeance, and Greed.

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