Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

TEMPTRESS MOON
(Feng Yue)

 

Year: 1996
Country: Hong Kong
Run Time: 115 minutes

In epics like "Life on a String" (16th CIFF) and "Farewell, My Concubine," Chen Kaige explored exotic corridors of Chinese history that cast their long shadows into China of today. His latest, set in the early 20th century, commences with the arrival of a man named Zhongliang at a palatial estate in Suzhou. His sister is mistress of the household, but Zhongliang learns to his alarm that, rather than assuming a position of honor, his ordained destiny is to work as a lowly servant preparing the opium pipes for the Peng family. Zhongliang's nephew holds traditional authority over everyone in the palace, and slowly, deliberately, events build toward an act that sends Zhongliang fleeing the Pengs to seek refuge in bustling, decadent Shanghai. Beneath the elaborate costumes, ornate sets, and painterly compositions, TEMPTRESS MOON condemns its society's rigid male hierarchies and the chauvinism that still persists. Like much of Chen Kaige's work, TEMPTRESS MOON is banned in CHina. Take that as a thumbs-up. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

- Charles Cassady

Screenplay
Shu Kei

Director
Chen Kaige

Producer
Tong Hsu Feng

Cinematography
Christopher Doyle

Editing
Pei Xiaonan

Principal Cast
Leslie Cheung, Gong Li, Kevin Lin, He Saifei

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