Peking Opera Blues

History / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
Tsui Hark’s 1986 Hong Kong action, comic-adventure film set in 1913. Discusses society of time, impact on China of Western invasion, reform movements, characters, plot, tone.

Peking Opera Blues (Tsui Hark, 1986) is set in China in a different time period, approximately 1913, at a time when there was agitation for change and efforts at overthrowing the government. The film is a comic adventure rather than a serious analysis of these subjects, but it does indicate some of the forces then operating in that part of the world at the time and fits into a sense of the history of China in this century. As a genre piece, the film is a Hong Kong action picture, the sort of martial arts film that emerge by the dozen from that city each year. This one differs from most in that it has three female protagonists rather than the usual male, though this has become more common in recent yeas as a number of females have come to the fore in this type of film, notable among them being Michele Yeoh, who is now working in other parts of the world.

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