The Assassin

Film stills

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9th century China. 10-year-old general’s daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised – a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.

Cannes Film Festival – in competition, Best Director.

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Hou Hsiao-hsien, born in 1947, is a Taiwanese film director, screenwriter, producer and actor. His films have been awarded for prizes from prestigious international festivals and seven of them have been nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He made his feature film debut in 1980 with Cute Girl. In 1989, he won the Golden Lion in Venice for A City of Sadness, a political drama that began a trilogy on the history of Taiwan, continuing with The Puppetmaster (1993, Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival) and Good Men, Good Women (1995). Later he directed well-known films Flowers of Shanghai (1998), Millennium Mambo (2001) and Three Times (2005).