“SPECTACULARLY BEAUTIFUL and achingly poetic…AN UNFORGETTABLE EPIC re-creation of the birth of the Han dynasty, terrifying and lyrical” – Hollywood Reporter
From internationally-acclaimed director Lu Chuan, an epic story of war, of dreams fulfilled and of betrayals – betrayals of friendship, of ideals, and of oneself.
Yu is a young noble: handsome, brave, admired. Commander of the era’s most powerful army, he leads the revolt against the cruel Qin dynasty. Yu recognizes great potential in Liu, a peasant, and gives him command of 5,000 soldiers. Liu breaks an agreement with Yu by entering and ransacking the Qin capital alone. The Qin dynasty falls and Yu rules. Wary of treachery, his advisers plot to kill Liu at a great banquet, but the emperor spares his life. From this ‘last supper’, Liu will wage war against Yu. Xin, an adviser to Yu, joins him. Defeated, Yu commits suicide on the battlefield rather than submit to capture.
Yu is dead, but now Xin is a threat. Liu imprisons then releases him, but broods about having spared Xin’s life as Yu spared his… Xin too must die.
Emperor Liu has finally reached his goal. But his soul remains deeply troubled – haunted by the ghosts of his betrayals, unable to find peace in the position he dreamed of and fought ruthlessly to achieve…
TORONTO International Film Festival Official Selection