Clint Eastwood's personal favorite of the competition entries at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival where Eastwood was Jury President.

This film is banned in China. However, there are a number of pirate copies you can buy on the street.

Initially, Director Zhang Yimou was forbidden from filmmaking for 5 years by the Chinese Communist Party as a result of making this film. However, due to outside pressure this was later withdrawn.

Ranked number 41 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018.

The ban on the film was lifted only in September 2008 after Zhang Yimou directed the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.