| Complex drama about film and east/west relations
This film is about so many things. Most obvious is the hold that film can have over an audience and how capturing life on film can be a kind of magic. There is also the tense relationship between China and the West as many Chinese saw (probably rightly so) the "Barbarians" as trying to take over and pollute their way of life. Liu even seeks to preserve their way of life on film because he sees that it will one day disappear. Their is also Liu's internal conflict between the loyalties and traditions of China versus the self-determination philosophy of the West. All these themes are woven quite skillfully into a coherent and enjoyable whole by Hu. A very enjoyable film.