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The Emperor and the Assassin was released in 1998 in China. The film was later brought to the United States and Europe and released in theaters. The film is a historical drama set in China during the reign and political campaigns of Qin Shi Huang, or Ying Zheng, around 221 B.C. It was directed by Chen Kaige, produced by Beijing Film Studio, and distributed by China Star Entertainment Group, Sony Pictures Classics, and Columbia Pictures.

The film stars Gong Li as Lady Zhao, Zhang Fengyi as Jing Ke, and Li Xuejian as Ying Zheng. Ying Zheng, China’s first emperor, is controversially portrayed as a conqueror who desires peace through country-wide unification. To achieve his goal, Zheng sends his concubine, Lady Zhao, to find an assassin from Yan, the final state that Zheng must conquer, who will attempt to take Zheng’s life in a ruse.

The Emperor and the Assassin received positive reviews from critics and received awards after its premier at the Cannes Film Festival. The landscapes and cinematography were noted for being gorgeous and impressive.

The Emperor and the Assassin was originally only released with subtitles. It is 162 minutes long.

| 1998 | 2 hr 42 min | 7.2/10 | 75/100
Li Gong, Fengyi Zhang, Zhou Sun, Xiaohe Lü
China Star Entertainment Group (H.K.), Sony Pictures Classics (U.S.), Columbia Pictures (U.K.)
Chen Kaige
Produced By
Han Sanping, Chen Kaige, Kadokawa Tsuguhiko, Furukawa Hiromitsu

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