The Ming Dynasty is at its height of literary inquisition, when the government imprisons anyone expressing dissent in any literary from. Shen Lian is an imperial guard who gets framed for treason, partially due to the controversial paintings that he collects from a mysterious artist named Bei Zhai. As Shen Lian searches for justice and truth, he starts to realize the net of relationship and power dynamics around him is much more complicated than it seems.
In 2014, independent Chinese filmmaker Lu Yang hit the market with his low budget martial arts film Brotherhood of Blades. Audiences and critics were stunned by the film’s dynamic energy and sociopolitical undertone, claiming it one of the best martial arts films of its generation. Following such success, Lu Yang brings us Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield — the prequel of the complex world that he masterfully paints.
With an all-star cast featuring Chang Chen and Yang Mi, the film combines the merits of commercial cinema with a nuanced exploration of history, fate and determination. Once again, director Lu Yang proves to be one of the promising rising talents to watch, in contemporary Chinese cinema.