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American Women's Club of Hamburg

A Touch of Zen (Xia nü)

Taiwan 1971
Opening on August 17, 2017
Directed by: King Hu
Writing credits: King Hu
Principal actors: Hsu Feng, Shih Chun, Bai Ying
A Touch of ZenKu (Shih Chun) is a rural painter whose only daily excitement consists of his mother nagging him to get married and to pursue a more prestigious position than a painter. His quaint painting life is turned upside down when he meets the beautiful but mysterious Yang (Hsu Feng). Miss Yang turns out to be on the run from imperial agents who already killed her family and are now determined to get rid of her. It takes many battles on their run before anyone is safe again.
However, the story is not the focal point in this Wuxia Genre film. The setting, camerawork and light make this a magnificent movie. The slow pace in the beginning of this three-hour monument creates an atmosphere which makes it possible to enjoy each frame as an individual piece of art while the absence of many words gives the first scenes an almost meditative touch.

A Touch of Zen is considered to be a ground stone for the aesthetics of the Chinese martial-Arts movies to come; the fight scenes have a mystical and supernatural power which will excite any cineaste. No need to be a Martial-Arts Fan to be swept away by this movie. A hooray to the “Taiwan Classics Digital Restoration and Value-Adding Project” which made it possible to enjoy this classic movie again in new quality. ()

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