Son of petit borgious Chinese couple. Lived in rural China during his political reeducation. Developed an interest in and trained as a photographer.
Worked in a factory designing socks, a job he secured due to his talent at basketball, the company's manager running a regional basketball team.
Wrote to govenment to ask to be included in Film school intake despite being officially too old, using an extensive portfolio of photographs printed in a disused toilet.
Changed the characters which represent his name from one meaning 'honouring ancestors' to 'artist'.
Begining his carrer as a cinematographer
Long term relationship with leading actress Gong Li
Story of Qui Ju began as series of films shot in a neo-realist style. Conciously attempting to break from the style of his previous three films he used the techniques of the Italian neo-realist movement.
Directed opening ceremony for Beijing Olympiad.
With Hero and House of Flying Daggers his
D - Director; C - Cinematographer; W - Sreenwriter; A - Actor; SD - Stage Director; P - Producer.
One and Eight (Yi ge he ba ge) (1983) C
Yellow Earth (Huang tu di) (1984) C
The Big Parade (Da yue bing) (1986) C
Old Well (Lao jing) (1986) C, A
Red Sorghum (Hong gao liang) (1987) D, A
Codename Cougar (Daihao meizhoubao) (1989) D
Terracotta Warrior (Qin yong) (1989) A
Ju Dou (1990) D
Raise the Red Lantern (Da hong deng long gao gao gua) (1991) D
The Story of Qiu Ju (Qiu Ju da guan si) (1992) D
Soul of a Painter (Hua hun) (1993) W
To Live (Huozhe) (1994) D (section)
Shanghai Triad (Yao a yao yao dao waipo qiao) (1995) D
Lumière et compagnie (1995) D
Keep Cool (You hua hao hao shuo) (1997) D, A
Dragon Town Story (Lung sing jing yuet) (1997) P
Not One Less (Yi ge dou bu neng shao) (1999) D
The Road Home (Wo de fu qin mu qin) (1999) D
Turandot At the Forbidden City (2000) A, SD
2046 (2001) P
Happy Times Hotel
House of Flying Daggers