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Film Review: A Touch of Zen (1971) by King Hu

Film Review: A Touch of Zen (1971) by King Hu

Hailed as one of the biggest epics of the wuxia genre, “A Touch of Zen” is a true masterpiece of the category that stands apart particularly due to its technical prowess and high symbolism. The script is based on a short story titled “The Magnanimous Girl” by Pu Songling that was published in 1679.

Gu is a talented painter and scholar who still lives with his mother, who worries about him being unambitious, unmarried and his decline to apply for a civil servant position. Eventually, a young girl named Yang and her mother settle in an abandoned house nearby, which everybody considers haunted. Gu’s mother however, does not seem at all bothered by the fact and she proceeds in an effort to arrange a marriage between Gu and Yang. The girl declines but she and Gu strike a peculiar friendship, after she explains that she and her mother are fugitives,

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