Gong Li

Gong Li (巩俐, born 31 December 1965) is a Chinese film actress. Gong Li was born in Shenyang, Liaoning, China, the youngest in a family of five children. Her father was a professor of economics and her mother was a teacher. Gong grew up in Jinan, the capital of Shandong. In 1985, she was accepted to the prestigious Central Academy of Drama in Beijing and graduated in 1989. While a student at the Central Academy of Drama, she was discovered by Zhang Yimou, who chose her for the lead role in Red Sorghum, his first film as a director. She first came to international prominence through her close collaborations with Chinese director Zhang Yimou and won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at Venice for her performance in his 1992 film The Story of Qiu Ju. She is credited with helping to bring Chinese cinema to Europe and the United States. In 2008, she became a naturalized citizen of Singapore.

Gong won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress for Farewell My Concubine (1993) and the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She has also twice been awarded the Golden Rooster and the Hundred Flowers Awards, as well as the Berlinale Camera, and the Cannes Festival Trophy. Her other film appearances include Ju Dou (1990), Raise the Red Lantern (1991), 2046 (2004), and Miami Vice (2006).

Gong Li images

Gong Li filmography

 

Mulan

When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. She is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. Disguised as a man by the name of Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness … Read more

Saturday Fiction

An actress working undercover for the Allies in 1941 Shanghai discovers the Japanese plan to attack Pearl Harbor.

Chinese Box

The story of Hong Kong, from New Year’s Day to June 30th, 1997, when the British left their colony and turned it over to the People’s Republic of China.

The Monkey King 2

Taking place 500 years after the Havoc in Heaven, the Tang Priest is appointed by Buddha to go to the West to fetch the sacred scriptures, only to accidentally free the Monkey King. With Lady White (Gong Li) aiming to break up the team assembled to defeat her, the Monkey King must fight in order to save his world!

Eros

A three-part anthology film about love and sexuality: a menage-a-trois between a couple and a young woman on the coast of Tuscany; an advertising executive under enormous pressure at work, who, during visits to his psychiatrist, is pulled to delve into the possible reasons why his stress seems to manifest itself in a recurring erotic dream; and a story of unrequited love about a beautiful, 1960s high-end call girl in an impossible affair with her … Read more

Coming Home

Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer remembers him.

What Women Want

After an accident, a chauvinistic executive gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking.

The Flirting Scholar

A scholar in search of true love. Disguising himself as a houseboy, he indentures himself to a rich family in order to pursue the ravishing servant girl who has stolen his heart.

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.

The Story of Qiu Ju

The Story of Qiu Ju is a 1992 Chinese comedy-drama film. The film was directed by Zhang Yimou and, as in many of his films, stars Gong Li in the title role. The screenplay is an adaption of Chen Yuanbin’s novella The Wan Family’s Lawsuit. The film tells the story of a peasant woman, Qiu Ju, who lives in a rural area of China. When her husband is kicked in the groin by the village … Read more

The Empress Dowager

Han Hsiang Li’s lush epic re-creates the fascinating life and times of Tzu Hsi, the Manchu Qing dynasty empress who rose from the ranks of Emperor Xianfeng’s many concubines to become the de facto ruler of China for nearly 50 years.

Shanghai Triad

A provincial boy related to a Shanghai crime family is recruited by his uncle into cosmopolitan Shanghai in the 1930s to be a servant to a ganglord’s mistress.

To Live

Fugui and Jiazhen endure tumultuous events in China as their personal fortunes move from wealthy landownership to peasantry.

A Soul Haunted by Painting

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Yu-liang leaves a brothel in a small Chinese town, to become the second wife of Mr. Pan. While Pan is away at the revolution in Yunnan, Yu-liang learns to paint and takes art classes at the Shanghai Art Institute, until it is closed for painting nudes. Because she cannot bear him a son, Yu-liang leaves Pan to his first wife, and studies art in Paris, where she wins … Read more

Curse of the Golden Flower

During China’s Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.

Red Sorghum

An old leper who owned a remote sorghum winery dies. Jiu’er, the wife bought by the leper, and her lover, identified only as “my Grandpa” by the narrator, take over the winery and set up an idealized quasi-matriarchal community headed by Jiu’er. When the Japanese invaders subject the area to their rule and cut down the sorghum to make way for a road, the community rises up and resists as the sorghum grows anew.

Raise the Red Lantern

China in the 1920’s. After her father’s death, 19 year old Songlian is forced to marry the much older lord of a powerful family. With three wives already, each living in a separate house within the great castle, there is fierce competition for his attention and the privileges that are gained. This competition gets out of hand…

Ju Dou

A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband’s heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy. Filmed in glowing technicolour, this tale of romantic and familial love in the face of unbreakable tradition is more universal than its setting.

2046

2046 is the sequel to Wong Kar-Wais’ successful box-office hit In The Mood For Love. A film about affairs, ending relationships, and a shared love for Kung-Fu novels as the main character, Chow, writes his own novel and reflects back on his favorite love Su.

Zhou Yu’s Train

Zhou Yu, a ceramic artisan in China’s rural Northwest, has a deep rapport with Chen Qing, a shy sensitive poet. Taking a long train ride every weekend just to make mad passionate love with him, her longing seems insatiable. Until one day, she meets the hedonistic vet Zhang Qiang and begins a torrid affair, which takes her to another train station, and another level of lust. Driven by the locomotive of love and desire, she … Read more

The Emperor and the Assassin

In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king’s cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.