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Ju Dou

Screening on Film
Directed by Zhang Yimou and Yang Fengliang.
With Gong Li, Li Baotian, Li Wei.
China/Japan, 1990, 35mm, color, 95 min.
Mandarin with English subtitles.

A fatalistic, Oedipal fable of an abusive husband, his new bride, and the adopted nephew who falls in love with her, Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou is a disturbing tragedy that counts pyromania and manslaughter among its dramatic developments. Zhang, trained as a cinematographer, creates visually stunning, edenic landscapes and then exposes the hellish realities beneath them. Banned in China on its initial release, the film went on to win numerous international film awards, including a nomination for best foreign language film at the 1990 Academy Awards.

Part of film series

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Masterworks of Modern Cinema

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Classics of World Cinema

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: Actors K–N