It’s not that I didn’t like Hero, or that Daggers was particularly funny. To the contrary, it’s tale of complex characters who don’t end well. That might be story enough, but every scene is richly photographed and styled — a hallmark of so many of Yimou’s films, but wonderfully so in Daggers.
Trivia: Viewers may be surprised to learn it was filmed in Ukraine, but the silver birch in so many of the forrest scenes is not native to China.
: there is some debate about whether it’s “Zhang Yimou” or “Yimou Zhang” and I’m ashamed to say I don’t know enough to know better. I learned it as “Zhang Yimou,” and that’s how Wikipedia has it.