This was once the focus of all creation, standing at the center of the world, the universe, and the mind of God. For 500 years, it sheltered a court dedicated to privilege and power. It was built for one man, the son of heaven. But it was also a palace and prison in one, and at the best of times and the worst of times, it was hard to tell them apart. In the end, here was a dynasty expected to last forever until time brought it to a close...
So begins this sumptuously photographed dramatization of goings on in the Imperial Palace in Beijing in the 17th and 18th centuries, made in cooperation with Chinese Central Television. Using their access to palaces and to archives, the producers have staged elaborate re-creations of the highly ceremonial operations of government under Emperor Kangxi, who reigned from 1662 to 1722.
That means fancily got-up actors and extras bowing and bustling, while Rod Steiger delivers the narration. There are details here about the eunuchs and concubines who served the Son of Heaven, and the information is further spiced with portrayals of disarray in the royal family and even a pleasant glimpse of a concubine in the buff.
The piece ends with a stirring recounting of the last days of Imperial China and the last emperor, Pu Yi, who was spared execution and re-educated. He ended his life outside the Great Within, but with his passing, and the opening of the Forbidden City, China had found an unexpected harmony with its past.
Narrated by: Rod Steiger
Title: Forbidden City-The Great Within
File Size: 747 MB
Video Length: 00:50:02
Video Codec: DivX5
Video Resolution: 640x480
VIdeo Bitrate: 2038 kbit/s
Audio Bitrate: 384 kbit/s
Audio Codec: (AC3)
Subtitles: (External English)