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The most important actress of prewar Chinese cinema, Ruan Lingyu took her own life at the age of 24 after she was attacked by tabloids over an adultery scandal. Center Stage alternates between recreations of moments from Ruan’s life, clips from her films, and on-camera conversations about Ruan.
Hailed as the Greta Garbo of China, the tragic silent film star Ruan Lingyu is exquisitely embodied by Maggie Cheung in Stanley Kwan’s sumptuous, metatextual biopic. Now gorgeously restored, this heartbreaking masterpiece profoundly probes the trappings of fame and the impermanence of cinema itself.