Lei Wangzi (2009)

Genres - Drama, Historical Film  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - China, Hong Kong, Taiwan  |  
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A shameful period in Taiwanese history provides the backdrop for this emotional drama from writer and director Yonfan (aka Yang Fan). In 1949, in the wake of the 228 Incident (in which anti-government protesters launched a rebellion that was violently put down by authorities), Taiwan came under martial law, and through much of the 1950s brutal reprisals against suspected communists were commonplace. During the years of the "White Terror," thousand of supposed dissidents were killed, imprisoned or simply disappeared at the hands of the military police. Sun Han-sheng (Joseph Chang) is a decorated pilot in the Taiwanese Air Force who shares his home with his beautiful wife Ping (Zhu Xuan) and their two daughters, Li and Zhou. While the family leads a life of honor and privilege, the shadow of the White Terror doesn't escape them; Zhou's favorite teacher Qiu (Lin Yo-wei) is captured by authorities when he's found painting a picture in an area the government has deemed off-limits, and Ding Ke-qiang (Fan Chih-wei), a longtime friend of Sun now working in military intelligence, warns him that his fondness for Eastern European folk music could be dangerously misconstrued. One day, Li and Zhou come home to discover their parents have been arrested on charges of espionage, allegations that prove hard to shake even though they're clearly false. Also starring Terri Kwan and Kenneth Tsang, Lei Wangzi (aka Prince of Tears) received its world premiere at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival.