A Touch of Zen

  • Directed by King Hu
  • Taiwan, 1971, 180 mins.

One of the legendary directors of the wuxia (ancient martial arts) film, King Hu mastered the filming of gravity-defying swordplay long before computer graphics made such artistry routine. A major influence on such directors as Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Tsui Hark (A Chinese Ghost Story, Once Upon A Time in China), A Touch of Zen recounts the story of a 15th century noblewoman marked for execution by scheming conspirators. After she escapes into the wilderness with a shy scholar and two trusted aides, the group soon finds itself outnumbered by expert swordsmen in a bamboo forest. Salvation comes in the form of a band of Buddhist monks who are surprisingly–and spectacularly–skilled in the art of battle. “Visual style that will set your eyes on fire.”—Tony Rayns, Time Out London. (Mandarin with English subtitles)

Appears in: Special Screenings

Genres: Action