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Director: Ang Lee, Ang Lee, Ang Lee
2007 / 157min / 35mm
Tang got her breakthrough role—and a subsequent backlash from Chinese state censors—when she was cast in Lee’s steamy cloak-and-dagger thriller set during the Second Sino-Japanese War. A student in Japan-occupied Hong Kong, Tang’s character becomes involved in a plot to assassinate a collaborator with the puppet government, played by the always supped Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, using her erotic allure as the bait to lead him into a trap. What follows is an intimate epic in which political convictions must struggle against conflicting feelings of sexual desire, an internal conflict that Tang conveys in a subtly shaded performance, while Lee gives a masterclass in making the depiction of sex on-screen integral to a story.