Farewell My Concubine Film Analysis

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Farewell My Concubine is a powerful tale of friendship, forbidden love and betrayal. The film, directed by Chen Kaige has received widespread critical and popular success around the world, tugging at the heartstrings of its many movie-goers. In accreditation to its success, the film was also nominated for two Academy Awards and had been the winner of the Palme d 'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival (Festival De Cannes, 2017). The plot follows two Beijing opera stars through decades of change in China during the twentieth century, from the nationalist, Japanese to the oppressive communist rule of Chairman Mao. Centering about the love triangle involving Cheng Die Yi, Duan Xiao Lou, and a former prostitute Juxian, the film ends tragically when Die Yi, no longer able to distinguish his passion for art from the real world, ends his life. Before Farewell My Concubine was released, homosexuality was a highly taboo topic that was considered a criminal offense in China and would have been easily condemned. As such, being the first movie of its time with a big and expensive production to portray a homosexual main protagonist, was a large step forward for homosexuality in its era. In this essay, we will discuss about the importance of homosexuality on impacting the film’s tragic ending, focusing mainly on the character Cheng Die Yi. Die Yi’s childhood development, more specifically, the role of Peking Opera in his life set the path for Die Yi’s homosexuality and played a crucial role

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