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THE VALIANT ONES

Hong Kong, 1974 (MIFF 1975)

Director: King Hu

The Valiant Ones was made in Taiwan by Chinese film-maker King Hu, who has already directed A Touch of Zen, and The Fate ot Lee Khan. His latest film is set in the sixteenth century. Japanese pirates join with Chinese pirates to plunder coastal areas of mainland China. The inept Ming Emperor realizes that measures must be taken to stop them, and responsibility for wiping them out falls upon an official, Chu Wan. He is a capable and efficient administrator, but his efforts are undermined by blundering and treacherous subordinates. Eventually, he calls in a military commander, Yu Ta-yu, who immediately wins a decisive battle against a band of pirates. But he has to wage a long war against traitors among his own Chinese supporters. Both sides compete for the services of Wu Chi-yuan, whose nickname is Gust of Wind. He can sense the presence of the enemy and unmask spies. So the pirates and the Valiant Ones carry on their deadly chess game, moving towards the final battle that will decide the future of their civilization.

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