Director John Woo returned home from his lengthy period of working in Hollywood to make this astonishing, fact-based historical epic - at the time the most expensive Chinese film ever.
The action revolves around a pivotal moment in Chinese history - the battle of Red Cliff, in AD 208, when the ruling, but weak, Han dynasty gave permission to an immensely powerful northern warlord to crush two rivals who had control over lands to the south.
But the two weaker states think they have spotted a way to overturn the odds against them.
Originally, Woo's film was released in two parts, totalling well over four hours in length. This print is the much shorter international version.
Red Cliff is a magnificent, immersive adventure, with gargantuan battle scenes, clever strategies to undermine the foe and even the odd romantic sub-plot.
Starring Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang and Chiling Lin.
In Mandarin with English subtitles.