in about 100 words or less
China/Hong Kong/Taiwan 125m, Colour
Director: Zhang Yimou; Cast: Gong Li, Ma Jingwu, He Caifei, Cao Cuifen, Jin Shuyuan
Raise the Red Lantern is the dramatic story of a young woman who becomes the fourth wife of a rich husband in early 20th century China. As a college student forced to quit school after her father’s death, the 19 year-old Songlian is ill-prepared for the complexity of her position in a patriarchal household where she has become one of four women vying for the attention of one man. An aesthetically sumptuous film, Raise the Red Lantern is as beautiful as it is tragic for the women who are held captive in gilded cages for their master’s pleasure and to provide him with a male heir (Klaus Ming October 2016).