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King Hu's A Touch of Zen$
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Stephen Teo

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789622098152

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622098152.001.0001

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(p.106) (p.107) 7 Conclusion
King Hu's A Touch of Zen

Stephen Teo

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter wraps up the discussion with several conclusions on the film's lasting value and influences. The book begins by suggesting that A Touch of Zen is a subversive work because of its feminist sensibility and sexual ambiguity. But by delivering a fantastic-marvelous conclusion that exposes one to the supernatural, the film appears to override the earthly human concerns of sexual roles and directs one to transcend them. One of the enduring conceits of the film is that Zen is basically identified as a feminine inspiration, symbolized in the form of the xia nü. The reality principle, which is that of human suffering and death, leads one to the Buddhist theme of redemption and transcendence. The Zen ending is a truly epic ending which reaches for that elusive object of universality, making the end section a highly subversive sequence.

Keywords:   transcendence, feminist, A Touch of Zen, supernatural, Zen, sexual ambiguity, Buddhism, xia nü, redemption

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