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Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou) directed this fascinating, visually formal 1991 film about an educated woman (Gong Li) who is sent off to become the newest wife of a feudal nobleman in 1920s China. Nearly isolated in his spooky, palatial home, she develops relationships with several of the other wives and slowly becomes aware of a hideous legacy of punishment toward more willful women. The film has a brittle and dry quality that is deliberate, but also suggestive of Zhang working through various explorations of his own style (which he resolved in his next film,The Story of Qiu Ju). Gong Li, one of the world's great actresses, is superb.--Tom Keogh
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CastLi Gong, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He, Cuifen Cao, Qi Zhao
DirectorYimou Zhang
Genre:  Foreign
Screen WriterNi Zhen, Su Tong
DVD Release Date:  July 24, 2007
Runtime:  125 minutes
Studio:  MGM (Video & DVD)
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review by . September 23, 2001
Pros: Human drama at its best, visuals were outstanding, acting was suberb...     Cons: N/a     The Bottom Line: A great introduction the world of Chinese films. Gong Li (Li Gong) has my heart!     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. I can count the number of foreign films I have seen in my lifetime on one hand (a dismal and appalling circumstance for one who considers himself worldly and educated I …
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