Teenage Songlian (Gong Li), whose family has been devastated by the recent death of her father, becomes the third concubine of wealthy Master Chen (Ma Jingwu). She soon discovers that behind the palatial luxury of life in the master's house, she and her fellow concubines, Zhuoyan (Cao Cuifeng) and Meishan (He Caifei), are pitted against each other in a struggle for his affections. The situation inevitably leads to deception, jealous rages and the revelation of each other's darkest secrets.
Director: Yimou Zhang
Writer: Ni Zhen
Producer: Fu-Sheng Chiu, Hsiao-hsien Hou and Wenze Zhang
Cast: Gong Li, Ma Jingwu, He Caifei, Cao Cuifeng, Jin Shuyuan, Kong Lin, Ding Weimin and Cui Zhihgang