This sweeping 3 hours and 30 minute account of the life of Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China, follows the leader's tumultuous reign. After being captured by the Red Army as a war criminal in 1950, Pu-Yi recalls his childhood from prison. He remembers his lavish youth in the Forbidden City, where he was afforded every luxury but unfortunately sheltered from the outside world and complex political situation surrounding him. As revolution sweeps through China, the world Pu-Yi knew is dramatically upended. Although the film bases its story on the true-life accounts of Pu-Yi, ‘The Last Emperor’ shows that life can deal one undesirable circumstances, and the way one reacts and handles these circumstances determine one's place in history. Bertolucci's powerful method of storytelling also further enhances the greatness of the film. The motif of pursuing a forbidden love that remains out of reach presents a tearful message. Bernardo Bertolucci left a remarkable impression on the Academy with ‘The Last Emperor’, taking away nine Oscars, including one for best film and best director.
UK/Italy/China/France 1987 Bernardo Bertolucci 209m