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The King of Masks
A film by Wu Tianming

102 minutes, fiction, color, 1999, Mandarin w/ English subtitles

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Synopsis

Winner of more than 25 top honors at film festivals worldwide, revered Chinese director Wu Tianming's The King of Masks is a poignant tale about a lonely old magician and a luckless child bound together by fate and suffering, and redeemed by the power of love.

The King of Masks is an elderly master of the Sichuan opera art of changing silk masks so quickly that it appears to be magic. Bereft from the loss of his family many years ago, the old man searches for an heir to impart his talents and skills upon - but tradition dictates that this secret art can only be passed to a direct male heir. So he decides to adopt an impoverished street urchin, and sets out to train the child in his art - at great personal cost.


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Reviews

" A work of rare grace and humor. Highly recommended!" - San Francisco Chronicle

"A film of simplicity, beauty and surprising emotional power." - Roger Ebert

" Wu Tian-Ming's stunningly gorgeous direction and the assured performances he draws from his actors make for a powerfully redemptive tale." - Austin Chronicle




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