The Emperor and the Assassin

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L'empereur et l'assassin

The Emperor and the Assassin

(Jing Ke Ci Qin Wang)

by Chen Kaige



L'empereur et l'assassin

Director: Chen Kaige

Script.: Wang Peigong, Chen Kaige

Cinema.: Zhao Fei

Design.: Tu Juhua

Edit.: Zhao Xinxia

Sound: Tao Jing

Music: Zhao Jiping

Cast: Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi, Chen Kaige, Li Xuejian, Sun Zhou, Wang Zhiwen, Gu Yongfei, Ding Haifeng

Production: Shin Corporation, C/O NDF, Le Studio Canal +, Beijing Film


Tamasa Distribution
63, rue de Ponthieu
75008 Paris
tél. : 01 43 59 01 01
fax : 01 43 59 64 41

Year: 1999

35 mm, Color, 160 min, Mandarin Chinese with French subtitles

Official selection Cannes
Film Festival 1999


Third century BC. King Qin is obsessed with the idea of unifying the seven kingdoms of China to create one huge empire he would rule, thus becoming the first emperor of China. He promises Lady Zhao, his first love, that he will achieve it without violence nor killing. She suggests that a fake plot of his murder should be instigated in order to justify the invasion of the Yan neighbour kingdom and to win the others over. Lady Zhao is searching for the murderer, finds him and gets involved in a love story with him. Qin king is told the truth about his birth, which causes bloodshed within his own family and all over his native province of Zhao. Witnessing the kingdoms ablaze, Lady Zhao has no other choice than turn against her former lover and request the murderer to execute bloodthirsty king Qin.
"I have always been interested in history. I consider oblivion and amnesia two dreadful scourges. Nevertheless I am not a specialist nor a theoretician, I am more interested by the characters”. Chen Kaige 
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