The Last Emperor

Released to critical acclaim in 1987, "The Last Emperor" details the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of Chinese Ching Dynasty, from his ascension as a young boy, to his abdication and life as a young man in the Chinese Republic, and later as a political prisoner and "reeducated" citizen of the Maoist regime following the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

With a screenplay that draws heavily from Puyi's autobiography, "The Last Emperor" follows the life of a man who saw the transformation of China over the first half of the 20th century from a truly unique position, moving from being revered as the "Son of Heaven" as a boy to revisiting his former throne in the 1960s as little more than a tourist. This cinematic account of the political and social evolution of China in the 1900s, where the traditions of the past were coopted into a new political landscape highlight the core message of the Old Things thread, as the past is repurposed into the future.