spacetime coordinate: 8th century China during last years of the Tang Dynasty / the distant province/circuit of Weibo in the north
he Assassin (Chinese: 刺客聶隱娘; pinyin: Cìkè Niè Yǐnniáng; or: The Assassin Niè Yǐnniáng) is a 2015 martial arts film directed by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien. A Taiwan/China/Hong Kong co-production, loosely based on the late 9th century martial arts story “Nie Yinniang” by Pei Xing, a core text in Chinese swordsmanship and wuxia fiction.
“The King of Kophen’s bluebird failed to sing for three years.
One day the Queen remarked : Birds sing only to their own kind, set the bird before a mirror!
The King heeded her advice.
The bluebird saw its own image, it sang of its sadness, it danced, until it expired.”
(trivia: In the film, the actors speak classical Chinese which was mostly used for literary texts and almost never spoken. The final version henceforth includes Chinese subtitles.)