The Emperor and the Assassin | 1999
A romantic tale set in feudal China during the 3rd century B.C. which centers around the story of an ambituous king, Ying Zheng, obsessed with unifying all of China and becoming its first emperor. To this end, he embarks upon an unparalleled reign of terror and brutality against all who, he believes, stand between him and his destiny. Hoping to contribute in some way to Ying Zheng's dream of Chinese unification, Lady Zhao, his lover from childhood, devises an intricate fake assassination plot against Ying Zheng which, when "uncovered," will provide him with a legitimate excuse to invade the neighboring kingdom of Yang, his great obstacle to unification. However, before the plan can be fully realized, Ying Zheng discovers a painful secret about his birth. This stunning revelation triggers the cold blooded instinct within him. He has anyone who might have knowledge of his true lineage killed. He then plots an attack on Lady Zhao's beloved homeland.