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Year: 2006
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Universal Pictures
Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li, Liu Ye, Chen Jin, Jay Chou, Qin Junjie, Ni Dahong, Li Man
Director: Yimou Zhang
Countries: Hong Kong / China
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 114 mins
USA Rated: R for violence
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong bloody violence
USA Release Date: 12 January 2007
USA Release Date: 22 December 2006 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 21 December 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 13 April 2007
UK DVD Release Date: 3 September 2007


China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century.

The Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) returns unexpectedly to the Imperial Palace with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou) on the eve of the Chong Yang Festival. His excuse is to celebrate the holiday with his family, despite the chilled relationship he has with the ailing Empress (Gong Li). For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Prince Wan on the other hand feels trapped and dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan (Li Man), the Imperial Doctor's daughter.

Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress's health and her obsessions. Could she be headed down an ominous path? The Emperor has his own secrets and the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) is the only one privy to them. When the Emperor senses a looming threat, he relocates the doctor's family from the Palace to a remote area but en route mysterious assassins attack them. Chan and her mother, Jiang Shi (Chen Jin) are forced to retrace their steps back to the palace.

Their return sets off a tumultuous sequence of dark surprises. Amid the glamour and grandeur of the festival, ugly secrets are revealed. As the Imperial Family continues its elaborate charade in a palatial setting, thousands of golden armored warriors charge the palace in a bloody rebellion. Who is behind this brutal rebellion?


Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Subtitles: English , Cantonese
Language: Mandarin - Dolby Digital (5.1)

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