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Farewell My Concubine

Abandoned by his prostitute mother in 1920, Douzi was raised by a theater troupe. There he meets Shitou and over the following years the two develop an act entitled, “Farewell My Concubine,” that brings them fame and fortune. When Shitou marries Juxian, Doutzi becomes jealous, the beginnings of the acting duo’s explosive breakup and tragic fall take root.

Einstein and Einstein

Li Wan is fascinated by astrophysics and gives a lot of thought to life in general. There’s nothing strange about that except that others seem to think something’s wrong with her. Her father and step-mother have packed her off to her grandparents, ostensibly because they are so busy. The fact that her step-mother has given birth to a boy is kept secret from Li Wan for a long time. Li Wan doesn’t know where she belongs and lashes out whenever she is neglected or her father tries to appease her with an occasional gift. She could do so much better at school, if she only applied herself. Her cousin is supposed to be helping her learn English but instead she teaches Li Wan how to have fun at the roller skating rink and in clubs. Then one day her father brings her a little dog which she grudgingly accepts. But gradually, the dog, which she names Einstein, earns all her love. When the dog disappears, Li Wan’s whole world comes crashing down. In their efforts to comfort her, her parents tie themselves up in knots with yet more deception and lies. But Li Wan refuses to be so easily appeased any more. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]