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A Touch of Zen

A Touch of Zen
Trailer

A Touch of Zen

1971 / 187min / DCP

DIRECTOR: KING HU

CAST: FENG HSU, CHUN SHIH, YING BAI

The first wuxia movie to attract international prestige—belatedly awarded a Technical Grand Prize at Cannes in 1975, and the key influence on Ang Lee’s 2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon—Hu’s ripping yarn of chivalry and intrigue, set in Ming dynasty China, follows an effete scholar (Shih Chun) as he gets caught up with an indomitable female fugitive and fighter (Hsu Feng), sweeping him (and us) into a fever dream of mystical proportions, both romantic and suspenseful. A sprawling, philosophical martial arts film that saves the combat for the last act—and when it comes, it’s so transcendentally beautiful, profound, and exhilarating in its artistry as to be more than worth the wait.