R | | Drama, History, Romance
In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.
The staging of the battle sequences between the forces of Qin and its enemies, Han and Zhao, also proved to be a major logistical feat. Shot on the Bashan plateau, bordering Inner Mongolia, these dramatic scenes involved the coordination of thousands of horses, chariots, stunt people and extras. Huilui was chosen as the site for the exterior shots of the Zhao countryside, while Shidu, southwest of Beijing, served as the location of Jing Ke's fateful farewell at the Yishui river.
Kaige Chen's preferred cut ran 168 minutes. Following pressure from his producers and the U.S. distributor, he prepared a very different 162-minute cut that subsequently became the standard version of the film. The 168-minute cut was only released in Japan and has a more linear narrative, as opposed to the five-chapter structure used in the shorter version.
$47,295 19 December 1999
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