Farewell My Concubine
Xiang Yu, the overlord of Chu and Liu Bang, King of Han fight a fierce battle for the supreme command of China. Xiang Yu, strong and courageous comes close to death many times, but remains undefeated whereas Liu Bang is more manipulative, clever and calculating with many scheming advisors at his side. Taking advice from his commanders Liu Bang appoints Han Xin as his chief commander. He engages the help local forces and sets up a series of ambushes tens of miles wide, surrounding Xiang Yu’s army base at Jiu Li Mountain. As he does this he also destroys all the food stores for Xiang Yu troops.
Li Zuoche, Liu Bang’s counsellor, pretends to defect to Xiang Yu in a mission to befriend Xiang Yu and draw him away from his stronghold, leaving him open to attack. Foolhardy Xiang ignores the warnings from his advisors and leads his troops into an ambush by Liu Bang’s 300,000 strong army. Xiang Yu suffers catastrophic losses.
Wearily, Xiang Yu returns to his base, crushed and devastated. Yu Ji, his concubine, tries her best to comfort him and draw him out of his shattered state. But Xiang Yu depression deepens further as he foresees that he has such little time left with this beautiful women and beloved war horse. Yu Ji dresses in her finest robes and performs a beautiful song and dance for her lover in an attempt to cheer him from his troubles.
The Han army, later that night surround the Chu camp and sing Chu folk songs in order to unnerve the Chu soldiers. As the soldiers lose their nerve and will to fight, Yu Ji encourages Xiang to break free from the camp, return home and work on a new strategy to fight Liu Bang. However she sees Xiang Yu’s fear in his eyes for her safety and to release him of any obligation to save her she steals his sword and sacrifices her life for him.
The Han army attack and after a night of bloody and ferocious battle, Xiang Yu, the only survivor, managed to escape. Alone by the banks of the river he is unable to come to terms with the unbearable losses of this battle. Fearing informing his family of the immense fatalities and refusing to board the boat arranged for him to cross the river, he pushes his beloved horse into the raging water, draws his sword and slashes his own throat to be finally reunited in death with his lover Yu Ji.
XIANG Yu – played by LIU Kuikui
HAN Xin – played by YU Kuizhi
YU Ji – played by ZHU Hong
LI Zuoche – played by LIU Lei
XIANG Bo – played by WEI Jiaqing
YU Ziqi – played by CHEN Xuzhi
ZHOU Lan – played by HU Bin
ZHONG Limei – played by MA Xiangfei
LIU Bang – played by XU Teng
Drum – ZHAO Qi
Jing Hu (two string bowed instrument) – FENG Zhenyu