2019 | Yimou Zhang | China/Hong Kong | Mandarin with English subtitles | 116 min | NR
With SHADOW, director Zhang Yimou (HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) once again pushes the boundaries of wuxia action to create a film like no other, masterfully painting a canvas of inky blacks and greys punctuated with bursts of color from the blood of the defeated. In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a “shadow”, a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the King himself. Now he must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the King does not want.
“A rapturously beautiful work…combining the exquisite details of Chinese ink-brush painting with the melodramatic extravagance and suspension of disbelief of opera.” — Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle
“Even without its distinctive look, Shadow would be memorable, an accomplished fusion of what Zhang does well, but the visuals take it to another plane.” — Keith Phipps, The Verge
“The filmmaker’s sense of drama, imagery and choreography – always paired with meticulous plotting and deeply absorbing emotion – is as explicit, and vibrant, as ever.” — Todd Gilchrist, Birth.Movies.Death.
“It’s pageant and poetry and ballet, except with super-sharp knives and umbrellas that kill people.” — Ned Lannamann, The Stranger (Seattle, WA)