Hsimeng jensheng (The Puppetmaster)
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This Hou Hsiao Hsien masterpiece is a portrait of the childhood and adolescence of octogenarian Taiwanese puppet master and actor Li T'ien-lu, who narrates the film both off-screen and on-screen. In this second installment of a trilogy on Taiwanese life in the 20th century (City of Sadness is the first and Good Men, Good Women is the third), Li's development as an artist and husband plays out between 1908 and 1945 under the heavy hand of Japanese rule, paralleling the development of Taiwan's own political consciousness. The movie deftly shifts from a dramatization of Li's life,… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Hou Hsiao-hsien remains a master at conveying movement, progression, and a sense of the inexorable rotations of the wheel of time."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
"Hou's film is a work of art that deliberately studies the gray in between the black and white political messages..."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The figures of the puppetmaster's personal history become like his puppets, performing a repeated, stylized version of the past on a small stage."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"Meshing reality and fiction, Hou has created a groundbreaking masterpiece."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
More reviews for Hsimeng jensheng (The Puppetmaster) on Rotten Tomatoes