The Assassin premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and won a Best Soundtrack award as well as a Best Director prize for Hou Hsiao-hsien (for his first film in seven years). The first trailer for the film gives audiences a peek into the delicacy of the director’s work.
The story of The Assassin takes place during the Tang Dynasty of early Chinese history. It follows Nie Yinniang as she returns home from several years in exile to carry out an assassination against certain governors resisting the authority of the Emperor. One such offender is the man that she almost married years earlier, forcing her to choose between her duty to the “order of assassins” and love. The screenplay, written by Cheng Ah, Hai-Meng Hsieh, and director Hsiao-hsien, is based on a short story written during the same dynasty.
The film stars The Transporter‘s Shu Qi as Nie, who also worked with Hsiao-hsien on the film Three Times (2005). Chang Chen (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) and Satoshi Tsumabuki (The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift) also star.
The film is currently making its festival rounds and does not yet have a U.S. release date, but will be distributed by Well Go Entertainment. See the full trailer below, which features a world made up of violence and beauty, as well as some intricate knife play.