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This article begins with my interpretation of possible interrelations between the film and the above-mentioned poem that begins with 'beifang you jiaren' ('There is a beauty in the North'; my own English translation). In Li Yannian's poem, the 'jiaren' (the beauty) is compared with
the 'cheng' (the city or castle) and 'guo' (the nation or country) and thus objectified. Li Yannian inadvertently turns the jiaren into a scapegoat if the country and citizens are not taken good care of. Zhang Yimou revises the destiny of the jiaren by permitting her to speak her mind and
decide her fate.
Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.