Ranking: #107/111

Director: Hu Mei (China)

Genre: Epic Historical Period Drama

This is an epic historical drama about one of the world’s greatest philosophers and sages, made by one of the most talented female directors around today, Ms Hu Mei. Renowned Chinese actor, Chow Yun-fat, incarnates Confucius in his understated, but poignant, interpretation.

Hu Mei captures the immense challenges experienced by the Chinese scholar and sage as she recreates the times in which he lived. This was necessary to turn the biographical treatment into a sweeping historical epic. The temporal and geographical span of the film is impressive. So is the evocation of this period of China’s history. The director blends the vignettes of the ethical teacher’s life into a strong narrative, while generating pathos in the latter half of the film when Confucius becomes a wandering, homeless prophet, supported only by a faithful remnant of disciples. The movie’s ending is very touching. The film is a milestone in showing so vividly and expressively how hard it is to impress upon a worldly-minded humanity, and its political leadership, all caught up in the challenges of daily living, the necessity of ethics to civilisation. The director succeeds in communicating this deep truth at an