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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Opera > Dance > China > Arts > Politics > Master Qi and The Monkey King (2010/First Run Features DVD)

Master Qi and The Monkey King (2010/First Run Features DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: A     Film: B+



Welcome Qi Shu Fang of The Peking Chinese Opera, one of the first female Chinese Opera Divas.  Born in China and trained in opera from an early age, she blossomed into a one of the top artist in her field. From dancing, costuming, martial arts, to singing Chinese Opera incorporates all those skill, and that's just one person.  When an entire troop comes together they demonstrate mystical arts of the orient, see what their life was like behind the scenes and the cultural history in which the preserve for the future generations in Master Qi & The Monkey King (2010).


This documentary directed by Alan Govenar shows a story of Chinese dancers, the hardships, training to become the top performers in China.  After years of training and touring the world they came to America and saw the amateur Chinese Opera and decided to stay and show them what real Chinese Opera is like, the troop brings a piece of China, it's culture, history and heritage to share with what Americans have only seen in pictures or imagined in film. 


Like the first European theater, female roles were originally played by men, but with modern times females have become more involved and taken a role on stage.  This film tells the tale of the few success story of a female actor came to fame and then to the United States.  Most actors never make it out of their village much less the country, so this is a revelation to them.  In a country with over 4 billion people, only a few ever become independent in their fields.


There are some picture anomalies in the video presentation and location audio issues on the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, but this is not bad for a documentary otherwise.  Extras include bonus performances, photo gallery, and biographies.



-   Ricky Chiang


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