An entombed soldier from China’s ancient court reawakens in the 20th Century. A Terra Cotta Warrior is a 1989 Chinese/Hong Kong film about a forbidden love between a court virgin lady and a soldier in the Qin Dynasty. It was produced in part by Hong Kong director-producer Tsui Hark, and directed by Ching Siu-tung.
Gong Li plays the female protagonists Dong’er (the court girl) and Zhu Lili (the actress), and director Zhang Yimou plays the terracotta warrior/general Meng Tianfang. This is one of the only two films where Zhang Yimou has a leading role, the other being Wu Tianming’s Old Well.
The First Emperor searches for the elixir of immortality, and he dispatches 500 virgin boys and girls to help him accomplish this task. One of his soldiers, General Meng Tianfang (played by Zhang Yimou) falls in love with one of the dispatched virgins by the name Dong’er (Gong Li). When their forbidden love is exposed, the girl reveals she has found the elusive elixir and secretly gives it to Meng. The Emperor orders their execution and the soldier is sentenced to death by being encased alive in clay as a terracotta warrior, only to be reawakened in the 1930s when a struggling actress, Zhu Lili, the reincarnation of the girl who remembers nothing of her past life, accidentally stumbles upon the tomb of the First Emperor. The soldier struggles to adapt to a new era while the two are pursued by archeological looters and thugs.
A Terra Cotta Warrior Trailer
Zhang Yimou Mong
Gong Li Twon
Yu Rong-Guang Bai Yun Fei
Tony Ching (Ching Siu-tung)
Chu Hou Pou