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A TOUCH OF ZEN

Hong Kong, 1972 (MIFF 1983, Missed Films of Masters)

Director: King Hu

The film is based on a tale by P'u Sung- Ling , a poor scholar, who lived at the end of the 17th century. The director combined the filming of “The Heroic Maid”, a simple story, with the philosophical concept of Zen, to make it more effective. The story is set in a remote village in the North of China, at the time of the Ming Dynasty. A young scholar, Ku Sheng-Chai, falls in love with a mysterious girl, who has moved into the neighbourhood.

When she is provoked by a stranger, Ou-Yang Nien, to a duel, she fights with great fervour and skill, and later tells Ku her story: she is the daughter of a great political leader, who had been tortured to death by Ou-Yang Nien and his “Eastem Group”, the all-powerful secret police. She managed to escape with the help of Hui-Yuan, a Buddhist priest, and now Yang is waiting for a chance to take revenge for her father' s death. While still talking, Ku and Yang are being attacked by two contingents of the Eastern Group, but with great ability they light them off . Hui-Yang then takes Yang to a monastery, where she gives birth to Ku's baby.

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