The Emperor's Shadow

Film, Drama

Time Out says

Although designed and staged on a fairly spectacular scale, this Qin Dynasty epic is at heart a chamber tragedy centred on the love-hate bond between Ying Zheng, China's first emperor, and his one-time blood brother, a musician named Gao Jianli. The unapologetic modernity of Jiang Wen's great performance as the emperor suggests that Zhou Xiaowen is less concerned with history than with present-day relations between the artist and the Chinese state. But the film feels more like an aesthetic adventure than a political commentary, and Zhou (director of Ermo) makes it all the more extraordinary by stressing the homo-erotic feelings which run just beneath the surface of the central relationship.


Release details

116 mins

Cast and crew

Zhou Xiaowen
Lu Wei
Jiang Wen
Ge You
Xu Qing

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