She defied a thousand years of tradition for one moment of passion
Emerging from the Chinese film renaissance of the 1990s (Raise the Red Lantern, Farewell My Concubine) this haunting folk tale set in rural China in the 1920s tells the story of a young woman forces to grieve the death of a man she was destined to marry. Combining astonishing visuals with intriguing plot turns, this moving drama is not to be missed. When the spirited Young Mistress (Wang Lan) is kidnapped on the way to her arranged wedding, the groom is killed in an explosion in an attempt to rescue her. The peasant charged with her care, Kui (Chang Shih) manages to free her but the groom's bitter mother forces the Young Mistress to honor her agreement by marrying a wooden statue of her son, and staying chaste. Director Jianxin Huang's fascinating exploration of forbidden love and rigid social hierarchy reveals a culture in turmoil, where tradition is taken to cruel extremes and young lovers may not survive.