Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien presenting the story of an assassin during the Chinese Tang Dynasty. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Best Director Award.
9th century China. 10-year-old general's daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised – a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. She must choose to either sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.
"I’m always on the side of women. Their world, their psyches, always seem much more interesting to me than those of men. Women have their own sensibility and a more complex way of thinking, a way of relating to reality that intrigues me. You might say that women’s feelings are sophisticated and rather exciting, whereas men tend to think rationally and are rather boring. Furthermore, women’s complexities vary greatly from one woman to the next. /.../ Independence, resolve, solitude. I think those are the three characteristics of my women characters." (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Born in 1947 in Meixian, China, grew up in Taiwan. Graduated from the Taiwanese National Academy of Arts in 1972, thereafter began to work as assistant director and scriptwriter. In the beginning of the 1980s, together with Edward Yang and others, formed part of the Taiwanese New Wave which considerably influenced the development of contemporary Asian cinematography. His films have regularly won the foremost festival prizes.
1980 Jiushi liuliu de ta (Cute Girl)
1981 Feng er ti ta cai (Cheerful Wind/Play While You Play)
1983 Fengkuei-lai-te jen (The Boys From Fengkuei)
1985 Tong nien wang shi (A Time to Live and a Time to Die)
1986 Lianlian fengchen (Dust in the Wind)
1989 Beiqing chengshi (City of Sadness)
1993 Hsimeng jensheng (In the Hands of the Puppetmaster)
1995 Haonan haonu (Good Men, Good Women)
1998 Hai shang hua (Flowers of Shanghai)
2001 Qianxi manbo (Millennium Mambo)
2003 Kôhî jikô (Café Lumière)
2005 Zui hao de shi guang (Three Times)
2007 Le Voyage du ballon rouge (Flight of the Red Balloon)
2015 Nie yin niang (The Assassin)