After her father's death, 19-year-old Songlian (Li Gong) marries the much older Chen Zuoqian (Jingwu Ma), becoming the latest concubine in Chen's burgeoning harem and finding herself at the bottom of an oppressive hierarchy. Set in the 1920s during China's Warlord era, director Zhang Yimou's lushly filmed drama earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and won a BAFTA Award in the same category.

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