Inspired by the story of legendary Shaolin monk San Te and starring the mighty Gordon Liu, The 36thChamber of Shaolin is one of the most celebrated kung fu films from the Shaw Brothers stable, and one of the most revered martial arts films of all time.
Liu is San Te, an idealistic student devastated when Manchu soldiers mercilessly slaughter his father and fellow villagers. After a narrow escape, San Te seeks refuge in the famed Shaolin Temple, where he spends the next five years mastering all 35 chambers of kung fu discipline – an extraordinary near movie-length training montage – before taking his revenge.
Directed by Liu Chia-liang (also known as Lau Kar-Leung), one of the Shaw Brothers’ most famed directors and fight choreographers, the film has inspired countless fans – including influential rappers the Wu-Tang Clan, whose debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is widely hailed one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever, and Quentin Tarantino, who cast Gordon Liu in his Kill Bill films.
The film screens at MIFF in a double with his 1983 film The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter, following the world premiere of the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported documentary Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks.
“Beautifully made. The sets and costumes are as lavish as you’d expect from the Shaws but the technicality of the filmmaking is off the scale … It’s balletic and breathtaking, a testament to the killer combination of Lau’s artistic vision and Liu’s phenomenal Hung Fist skills.” – Den of Geek
- Director: Liu Chia-Liang
- Country: Hong Kong (1978)
- Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
- Genre: Action,Period
- Themes: Blockbuster, Epic, Escapist, Nostalgia, Retrospective
- Special Events | Feature