Top positive review
Entertaining and educational but also somewhat unsatisfying
on 11 May 2017
The film shows what happens when an extremely intelligent enlightened idealist butts heads with an entrenched power structure held in place with the sword. The film starts as a middle aged Kong Ze steps up from being an effective local mayor to a central government official and runs through a potted history of the wars between nation states over the next few years. The rise and fall of Kong Ze and his subsequent years of exile before being invited home again.
The problem is that Kong Ze comes into the film as a full adult, there's next to no explanation as to how he forms his ground breaking philosophy beyond a few cryptic flash back utterances with his master. Perhaps this is because nobody knows the answers and they want to avoid filling in gaps in the historical record with hearsay and legend, but it does leave you wondering where his ideas sprang from.