A Film by Kenji Mizoguchi
Based on an ancient story from Chinese history, The Empress Yang Kwei Fei is a romantic and tragic tale which remains as accessible and beautiful as ever. Although this was Mizoguchi's first film to use colour, his artistic flair perfectly adapts to the changing format, creating a aesthetic feast for the eyes to complement the intricacy of the plot.
During the dying days of the T'ang dynastyŚwhich ruled China until the 8th centuryŚthe Emperor Hsuan-tsung is tormented with grief after the death of his beloved wife, choosing to devote his life to the composition of music. When he meets and falls in love with a beautiful peasant girl, the purity of their love is defiled by the greed, corruption and opportunism of the the imperial court, which ultimately lead to tragic consequences.