The Puppetmaster (film)

This article is about the Taiwanese film. For other uses, see Puppet Master.
The Puppetmaster
Chinese 戲夢人生
Mandarin Xìmèng rénshēng
Literally Dream life
Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Produced by Chiu Fu-Sheng
Written by Chu Tien-wen
Wu Nien-jen
Starring Lim Giong
Li Tian-lu
Tsai Chen-Nan
Narrated by Li Tian-lu
Music by Chen Ming-Chang
Cinematography Mark Lee Ping-Bin
Release dates
Running time
142 minutes
Country Taiwan
Language Mandarin/Taiwanese/Japanese

The Puppetmaster is a 1993 Taiwanese film directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Based on the memoirs of Li Tian-lu, Taiwan’s most celebrated puppeteer, this story covers the years from Li’s birth in 1909 to the end of Japan’s fifty-year occupation of Taiwan in 1945.

Many consider The Puppetmaster a masterpiece of world cinema. In the British Film Institute's 2012 Sight & Sound poll, seven critics and three directors named it one of the greatest films ever made.[1]


It tells the story of Li Tian-lu who becomes a master puppeteer but is faced with demands to turn his skills to propaganda during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in World War II. This film is the second in Hou's trilogy of historical films that include A City of Sadness (1989) and Good Men, Good Women (1995).


Actor Role
Li Tian-lu Himself
Lim Giong Li Tian-lu (young)
Tsai Chen-nan Ko Meng-dang (father)
Yang Lai-Yin Lai Hwat (stepmother)
Vicky Wei Lei Tzu


The film won the Jury Prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival[2] and the FIPRESCI Prize at Istanbul International Film Festival, though the prize at Cannes was due largely to the single-handed efforts of Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.


  1. ""Puppetmaster, The" (1993)". British Film Institute. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  2. "Festival de Cannes: The Puppetmaster". Retrieved 2009-08-22.

External links

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