Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor won nine Academy Awards, unexpectedly sweeping
every category in which it was nominated. The power and scope of the film was, and remains,
undeniable—the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three, in 1908, before
witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, within and without the walls of the
Forbidden City. Recreating Ching dynasty China with astonishing detail and unparalleled
craftsmanship by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and production designer Ferdinando
Scarfiotti, The Last Emperor is also an intimate character study of one man reconciling
personal responsibility and political legacy.
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