Film Name: House of Flying Daggers

Directed by: Zhang Yimou

Starring: Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi


House of Flying Daggers is a 2004 wuxia film directed by Zhang Yimou. It differs from other wuxia films in that it is more of a love story than a straight martial arts film. The film was chosen as China's entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for the year 2004; but was not nominated in that category though it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. The film is set in the year 859. The once great Tang Dynasty is now in decline. Numerous rebel groups have formed, the largest of which is the House of Flying Daggers, based in Fengtian county. The Flying Daggers steal from the rich and give to the poor, gaining the support of the locals. The film features the theme of a beautiful woman who brings woe to two men. This theme is borrowed from a famous poem written by the Han Dynasty poet Li Yannian:

Běifāng yǒu jiārén, juéshì ér dúlì.
In the north there is a beauty; surpassing the world, she stands alone.

Yí gù qīng rén chéng, zài gù qīng rén guó.
A glance from her will overthrow a city; another glance will overthrow a nation.

Nìng bù zhī qīng chéng yǔ qīng guó.
One would rather not know whether it will be a city or a nation that will be overthrown.

Jiārén nán zài dé.
As it would be difficult to behold such a beauty again.