The Assassin

October 12 | 7:30pm

Closing Night | West Coast Premiere

In 9th Century China, during the Tang Dynasty, Nie Yinninang returns home to her family after a long absence – she was given to a nun at the age of 10 who has been training her as an assassin since – and her return hides a secret: an order to kill her young cousin who is now governing the largest military region in North China.

However, the mission is not that simple: Nie was promised to her cousin from a young age and her surfacing love will put her in direct contrast with her mistress’ orders – whatever the result, blood will be spilt.

Undoubtedly the most beautiful film you’ll see in 2015, Hsiao-Hsien Hou’s nine year in the making wuxia epic is a breath-taking, mind-blowing achievement: a tone poem that is not only visually arresting, heavily layered with period details and exquisite framing – but also an out-and-out martial arts film with breathtaking choreographed fight sequences. With admirable time-keeping, Hou creates an engaging, enthralling world populated with fleshed out characters and moments of outrageous beauty.

Trust me when I say that nothing will have the visual splendor and impact of THE ASSASSIN in the Egyptian Theatre as this love-letter to the world of martial arts, the past and exquisite beauty.

Evrim Ersoy

Special Thanks to Well-Go USA

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Country: Taiwan
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 2015


“…a mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie that boldly merges stasis and kinesis, turns momentum into abstraction, and achieves breathtaking new heights of compositional elegance: Shot for shot, it’s perhaps the most ravishingly beautiful film Hou has ever made… ” Variety