The Go Master (2006)


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The material and spiritual sides of one man's life are reflected in a game that allowed him to become a hero in this historical drama from Chinese director Tian Zhuangzhuang. Wu Qingyuan (Chang Chen) was born to a wealthy family in China, and as a boy he revealed a remarkable talent for the centuries-old game known as Go. Wu's skill for the game was so great that in the 1920s he was given the opportunity to travel to Japan, where he would learn from the grand masters of Go and compete with champions from around the world. Wu spent most of the rest of his life in Japan, where his life was bordered on one side by Go and on the other by his study of Zen; however, Wu was also a Chinese man living in Japan during a time that the two nations were often in violent conflict, and he found himself viewing some of the most crucial and traumatic events of Japanese history through the eyes of an outsider. Wu Qingyuan received its American premiere at the 2006 New York Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for The Go Master

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Impressively shot in 'Scope, it's a considerable achievement, possessed of a tranquil beauty and sagacity.

Mar 17, 2007 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Under Tian Zhuangzhuang, one of China's leading directors, The Go Master unfolds as meditatively as a game of go.

Mar 15, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Tian Zhuangzhuang's biopic is a stately and respectful reflection on the life of Wu Qingyuan, one of the 20th century's top players of go, a Japanese game said to rival chess in complexity.

Mar 14, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/5

A deeply thoughtful biopic of a legendary gaming master.

Oct 18, 2006

The film is structured as a series of tableaux with little connective tissue.

Oct 14, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

... an elegant biopic with sufficient psychological complexity to draw audiences deeply into the characters' lives.

Sep 26, 2017 | Full Review…

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