Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Berlinale Special

Baiyin Diguo

Empire Of Silver

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Director Christina Yao’s opulent feature film is a dynastic saga; it is also a passionate love story and a moral tale, based on historical events. The story of the Kangs, a family of bankers, and their banking empire on China’s ‘Wall Street’ spans a period from the Boxer Uprising to the Chinese Revolution and the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.
The film begins in 1899. A carefree, hedonistic young man is next in line to inherit a banking empire which has hitherto meant very little to him. However, following a tragic abduction, of which his sister-in-law was the victim, this ‘third man’ reluctantly bows to his authoritative father’s iron will.
Keen to prepare his offspring for the time when he will take over his financial conglomerate, this powerful banker, Kang, is determined to turn his son into as ruthless a businessman as himself. However, his idealistic son has always called into question his father’s high-handed style of leadership and hard-nosed business principles. The tense relationship between the two men is put under additional strain on account of Kang junior’s undying love for his beautiful young step-mother. She was the first and only love of his life – before his father stole her from him. It is time for him to decide wheth­er he will take the path his father trod before him or whether he will make his own way in life …

Hong Kong, China / People's Republic of China / Taiwan 2009, 113 min


Christina Yao


Aaron Kwok
Tie Lin Zhang
Hao Lei
Jennifer Tilly
Ding Zhi Cheng
Lei Zhen Yu
King Shih Chieh

World Sales

HanWay Films