Wu Xia 武侠~ Chinese Movies&TV


Today let’s take a brief introduction of a famous Chinese movie named “Wu Xia”.The film Wu Xia is a kung fu movie in terms of genre, yet it includes other elements like suspense, romance, violence, etc. While trying to tackle some thought-provoking themes in the film, Director Peter Chan also employs quite a few fashion elements closer to the taste of modern moviegoers, so Wu Xia has a distinctive style of its own, at least from the appearance.

The veteran Hong Kong director fulfils his long-cherished hope on the big screen – restoring the living conditions of the ancient people: how they ate and worked, the adulthood ceremony, adding an adult into the pedigree, and even the ancient condom, all of which Peter Chan zealously explores in detail. The director discards the impressionistic style of imagination, and unfolds the pictures of the agrarian society in the early twentieth century with a simple and unsophisticated way.

According to Peter Chan, the first half of the movie was inspired by Dr. House, which brings about suspense and scientific explanation of fundamentals of martial arts.

The two scenes, Donnie Yen fighting with two thugs and Takeshi Kaneshiro restoring the crime scene, are full of contrast and suspense, which can be called the most creative and intriguing sections of the film. The story-telling method is far more innovative than the consciousness of explaining fundamentals of kung fu movements with science.

Apparently, Wu Xia does not lay emphasis on telling the story of jianghu, the imaginary world of swordsmen, but on demystifying the concept of “martial arts science.” Director Peter Chan tries to explain with his own words why masters of martial arts can fly over the eaves and run on the walls, and why the fist of a tiny little man can claim the life of a giant. By doing this, the director not only fulfils his own martial arts dream, but also unravels the mystery of martial arts for the general public.

In the film, the detective played by Takeshi Kaneshiro has the fantastic skill of restoring the crime scene in detail, which many moviegoers feel “incredible.” While in reality, about a thousand years ago in China, there was a team of official workers similar to the modern medical examiners who were engaged in judicial examination works in government offices of various levels, and they were indeed capable of restoring the crime scene from all the minor details.

They could tell the gender, age and profession of the dead from the bones and hair of a highly decomposed body; they could determine whether the dead was poisoned to death by some sort of toxic; they could decide a person was “real death” or “apparent death” through the various signs displayed by the body; they could infer whether the dead had committed suicide or been murdered by a tiny drop of blood on a tree branch… In the feudal society when science and technology were not so developed, the evidence they provided made up for the defect that the bureaucrats handled the cases with their subjective assumptions and easy credence to oral confession, and it had profound and far-stretching influences on modern medical jurisprudence.


功夫gōngfu:a kind of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China.
香港Xiānggǎng:one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, the other being Macau.
金城 武 Jīnchéng Wǔ: a Japanese actor and singer of mixed heritage – his father is Okinawan Japanese and his mother is Taiwanese.

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