The King of Masks

Drama, China, (91 Minutes)

The film is set in the 1930s, a time of political turmoil in the Sichuan province of China.  Wang, the King of Masks, is an elderly street performer, enchanting audiences with the complicated art of face-changing.  He illustrates Chinese folk tales by split second changes of a large repertoire of character masks.  Traditionally, the King of Masks passes down the secrets of the art to a son or grandson, but Wang has no heir.  At an illegal child market, Wang buys an orphan boy to become his adopted son and apprentice.  However, Wang soon learns his apprentice is actually a girl and sends her away—but she refuses to leave.  He reluctantly allows her to act as a servant, calling her “Doggie” and commands her to refer to him as “Boss”.  Doggie will do anything to gain Wang’s approval and surprises him by performing street acrobatics to draw a crowd. 

Wang refuses, however, to share the secrets of the masks, and Doggie secretly tries to inspect them closely while the old man is sleeping.  In the process, she sets the sampan on which they live on fire.  Out of guilt, she runs away, and compounds her errors further by rescuing a kidnapped boy fated to be sold by kidnappers and takes him to Wang to be the grandson he desires.  Unfortunately, Wang is arrested as a kidnapper and thrown in prison, destined to be executed.   Doggie is determined to save him.  By this time, the audience is completely enraptured by the wondrous King and the amazing Doggie, and completely drawn into their exotic world.  A true classic,  The King of Masks won many international awards when it was released in 1995. 

 

Sun Valley Screening:

Sunday, September 13, 4:00 PM

All films will air on The Community Library’s Livestream page:
https://livestream.com/comlib

Registration is required to participate in the Livestream chat.

The King of Masks

Drama, China, (91 Minutes)

The film is set in the 1930s, a time of political turmoil in the Sichuan province of China.  Wang, the King of Masks, is an elderly street performer, enchanting audiences with the complicated art of face-changing.  He illustrates Chinese folk tales by split second changes of a large repertoire of character masks.  Traditionally, the King of Masks passes down the secrets of the art to a son or grandson, but Wang has no heir.  At an illegal child market, Wang buys an orphan boy to become his adopted son and apprentice.  However, Wang soon learns his apprentice is actually a girl and sends her away—but she refuses to leave.  He reluctantly allows her to act as a servant, calling her “Doggie” and commands her to refer to him as “Boss”.  Doggie will do anything to gain Wang’s approval and surprises him by performing street acrobatics to draw a crowd. 

Wang refuses, however, to share the secrets of the masks, and Doggie secretly tries to inspect them closely while the old man is sleeping.  In the process, she sets the sampan on which they live on fire.  Out of guilt, she runs away, and compounds her errors further by rescuing a kidnapped boy fated to be sold by kidnappers and takes him to Wang to be the grandson he desires.  Unfortunately, Wang is arrested as a kidnapper and thrown in prison, destined to be executed.   Doggie is determined to save him.  By this time, the audience is completely enraptured by the wondrous King and the amazing Doggie, and completely drawn into their exotic world.  A true classic,  The King of Masks won many international awards when it was released in 1995. 

 

Sun Valley Screening:

Sunday, September 13, 4:00 PM

All films will air on The Community Library’s Livestream page: https://livestream.com/comlib

Registration is required to participate in the Livestream chat.

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