Fri, Apr 27, 2007 - Page 16 News List

The life of a palace ?the rise and fall of a dynasty

AGENCIES

As opium addiction ravaged China the western powers moved in and destroyed works of art and magnificent buildings.

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LONG SHONG

Directed by Jin Tiemu (金鐵木), The Old Summer Palace is a documentary film that focuses on the history of the Old Summer Palace (圓明園) outside Beijing, which remains a potent symbol of the wrongs committed against China by the western world. The palace, which began construction in 1707 is seen as a symbol of late imperial Chinese history, from the height of glory under the Kangxi and Yongzheng emperors, to the ignominious defeat at the hands of the British and French expeditionary force in the Second Opium War in 1860, when the palace was razed to the ground. The film has painstakingly sought to recreate the splendors of the palace using 3D computer technology, and also bring to life the many characters that were associated with it, and with the fate of China, in the late 19th century. It is not to be confused with the film, recently much in the media, Lou Ye's (婁燁) Summer Palace (頤和園), which earned the director notoriety and sanctions from the Chinese government when shown at Cannes without official approval.

Film Note

The Old Summer Palace

Directed By: Jin Tiemu (金鐵木)

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Taiwan Release: Today


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