Zhang Yimou's Raise the Red Lantern: Contextual Analysis of Film Through a Confucian/Feminist Matrix | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710


Raise the Red Lantern is about a 19 year old college educated woman, Songlian (Gong Li), who arrives in the home of an old, wealthy landowner to become his fourth wife. The film centers on her experiences in confronting the intrigues of the household--from surviving the treachery of the other three wives, to coping with the harsh realities of being a concubine in a tradition-entrenched patriarchal family. As the story unfolds, Songlian finds herself drawn more and more into the web of deceit spun by wife number two, and Songlian's hand-maid, who, prior to her arrival, was the Master's lover.


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