This is one of the year's best films. - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-times

Chen Kaige's film is one of the year's true masterpieces. - James Berardinelli, Reelviews

The film is an adaptation of the novel written by Lilian Lee.


Director : Chen Kaige
Producer : Hsu Feng
Writers : Lilian Lee (also novel), Lei Bik-Wa, Lu Wei
Leslie Cheung as Cheng Dieyi
Zhang Fengyi as Duan Xiaolou
Gong Li as Juxian


Storyline : Dieyi has been brought up to make believe that he can play a female role in the Chinese Opera. He lives to embrace the life of a female role. As such, there is the question of his sexual attraction to Xiaolou. Is it nurtured or is it natural?

Since the day Dieyi joins the army of young workers, trained to impress the audience who love the story portrayed on stage in heavy costume and make-up, Xiaolou has often been protective of Dieyi. This is even so when initially a young Dieyi refuses to act as the female character. Xiaolou forces Dieyi to accept his

As time marches on, Dieyi and Xiaolou become a sensational couple on stage, loved by many. However, behind the stage, the relationship between Dieyi and Xiaolou is tested when Juxian steps into the picture. Juxian tempts Xiaolou into a relationship with her, which jeopardises Xiaolou relationship with Dieyi. Feeling betrayed, Dieyi finds comfort in the arm of an admirer. However, that does not end the feeling Dieyi has for Xiaolou. When Japanese soldiers take over China, it is Dieyi (with persuasion by Juxian) who must do his best to entertain the soldiers in order to plead them to release Xiaolou. That does not rest well with Xiaolou who sees this as an insult to the Chinese. The final test on these three come when the Chinese Revolution arrives. In the eyes of many young ambitious communists, Dieyi, Xiaolou and Juxian are confronted with their personal greed for their own freedom, mixed with fear.

Does true love survive?

Critics Tomatometer : 91% (as of 1 April 2007)

"Farewell My Concubine" is a demonstration of how a great epic can function.
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-times

No film can ever hope to convey the complex mosaic of cultural upheaval caused by everything that happened between 1924 and 1977, but Farewell My Concubine does an excellent job presenting samples of the flavor while telling a story that is both epic and intimate.
- James Berardinelli, Reelviews

..Visually impressive and emotionally complex..
- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com

..Farewell My Concubine boasts some startling moments, a few grand set-pieces and excellent performances all around..
- Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City


Awards :

  • Won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 1993. The Palme d'Or was shared with Jane Campion's The Piano from New Zealand (1993).
  • Won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival 1993
  • Won the Best Film not in the English Language BAFTA (British Academy Award) 1993
  • Won the Mainichi Film Concours for Best Foreign Language Film at Mainichi Film Concours 1993
  • Won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film 1993
  • Won the Best Foreign Film of National Board of Review (USA) 1992
  • Won the Best Foreign Film of L.A. Film Critics Association 1993
  • Won the Best Foreign Language Film of Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 1993
  • Won the Best Actor Award for Foreign Movie of Japanese Critic Society (Leslie Cheung) 1994
  • Won the Special Award of Chinese Performance Art Association, mainland China, (Leslie Cheung) 1993
  • Won the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Foreign Language Film 1993
  • Won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress (Li Gong) 1993
  • Won the Special Award of Political Film Society, USA 1993
  • Won the Silver Frog Award (Changwei Gu)at International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography (Camerimage) 1993
  • Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (Oscar) 1993
  • Nominated for the César Award for Best Foreign Film 1994
  • Nominated for the Golden Frog Award (Changwei Gu) at International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography (Camerimage) 1993

Country : China / Hong Kong
Running Time : 171 min.
Language : Mandarin
Box Office : $5,216,888 (USA) and 470,920 Admissions (Argentina)

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