Shanghai Triad

Shanghai Triad


Shanghai Triad

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Shanghai Triad () is a 1995 Chinese film, directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li. The film is set in the criminal underworld of 1930s Shanghai, Republic of China and spans seven days. Shanghai Triad's Chinese title roughly translates as "Row, row, row the boat to Grandma Bridge" and is based on a traditional Chinese lullaby.

The film was the last collaboration between Zhang Yimou and actress Gong Li in the 1990s, thus ending a successful partnership that had begun with Zhang's debut, Red Sorghum, and had evolved into a romantic relationship as well. With the wrapping of filming for Shanghai Triad the two agreed to end their relationship both professionally and personally. Gong Li and Zhang Yimou would not work together again until 2006's Curse of the Golden Flower.


Shanghai Triad takes place over the course of seven days in the 1930s. The story begins as a fourteen-year-old boy, Tang Shuisheng (Wang Xiaoxiao) has just arrived in Shanghai from the countryside. He is met at the docks by his uncle, Liu, who has sent for Shuisheng to work as a servant for a Triad Boss (played by Li Baotian), also named Tang and a distant relative. Before he meets his new employers, however, he is taken to a warehouse where two rival groups of Triads carry out an opium deal that goes wrong, leaving one of the rival members dead. Shuisheng is then taken by his uncle to Tang's palatial home, where he is assigned to...
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