“People in misery is what most important in art”
Zhang Yimou (born 2 April 1950) is a Chinese film director, producer, writer and actor, and former cinematographer. He is counted amongst the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, having made his directorial debut in 1987 with “Red Sorghum”.
Zhang has won numerous awards and recognitions, with Best Foreign Film nominations for “Ju Dou” in 1990, “Raise the Red Lantern” in 1991, and “Hero” in 2003, Silver Lion and Golden Lion prizes at the Venice Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
In 1993, he was a member of the jury at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival. Zhang directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, which received considerable international acclaim.
One of Zhang’s recurrent themes is the resilience of Chinese people in the face of hardship and adversity, a theme which has been explored in such films as “To Live” (1994) and “Not One Less” (1999).
His films are particularly noted for their rich use of colour, as can be seen in some of his early films, like “Raise the Red Lantern”, and in his wuxia films like “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers”. His highest budgeted film to date is the 2016 monster film titled “The Great Wall”, set in Imperial China and starring Matt Damon.