CIFF47: PSQ March 22 – April 1, 2023 | Streams April 2 – April 9, 2023

(Zhao shi gu er)

Year: 2011
Country: CHINA
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Run Time: 126 minutes


SACRIFICE, an adaptation of Orphan of Zhao (the first Chinese opera to become known in Europe), dominated Chinese theaters upon its release and is sure to impress American viewers with its dramatic performances, alluring ancient Chinese scenery and absorbing Shakespearean plot. It is a complex tale of betrayals and revenge, as the jealous court official Tu Angu (Wang Xueqi) seeks to eradicate his prosperous enemies, the Zhao clan. Weaving together traps, poisons, sword fights, and all out warfare, Tu almost succeeds with his devious schemes, but the upright physician Cheng Ying (Ge You) has mercy on the infant child carrying the last remaining Zhao blood. However, his good intentions do not go unpunished and his own son's life becomes the unbearable price of righteousness. After years of pitiful toiling, justice alludes the doctor and the young Zhao boy grows ungrateful not only for his life, but for the grave cost to the only father he has ever known. The dramatic culmination of complex events leaves viewers wondering about both the nature of sacrifice and the power of sacrificial love. In keeping with his earlier film, "Farewell My Concubine," acclaimed director Chen Kaige delivers a dramatic cinematic achievement. (In Mandarin with subtitles) – S.H.

CIFF36 Screenings

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Pacific Pearls

Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano

Chen Kaige

Chen Kaige, a graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, is an award winning Chinese director, actor, and writer. In 1987 he was awarded a fellowship by the Asian Cultural Council and served as a visiting scholar at the New York University Film School. His feature, "Farewell My Concubine," was nominated for two Academy Awards® and won the Palme d'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. Chen has also served on many festival juries, including the Berlin International Film Festival.

"Farewell My Concubine" (1993), "Temptress Moon" (1996) - 21st CIFF, "Killing Me Softly" (2002), "Together" (2002), "The Promise" (2005), "Forever Enthralled" (2008), SACRIFICE (2010)

Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou

Mathieu Vadepied

Dorian Rigal-Ansous

Principal Cast
François Cluzet, Omar Sy

Film Contact

Community Partner

MotivAsians for Cleveland

Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today