Shadow magic [videorecording] / Sony Pictures Classics ; C & A Productions ; in association with Beijing Film Studio and China Film Co-Production Corp., Taiwan Central Motion Picture Corporation, Post Production Playground, Schulburg Productions, Road Movies Vierte Produktionen ; with the support of Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen GmbH presents ; a film by Ann Hu ; screenplay by Huang Dan, Tang Louyi, Kate Raisz, Bob McAndrew, Ann Hu ; produced and directed by Ann Hu.
Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Classics : [Distributed by] Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 
In Peking in 1902, an Englishman named Wallace (Jared Harris) arrives with a hand-cranked projector and a box of silent movies. Eventually, he overcomes tradition to build an audience for the new art form, films the people of China, and even shows his magic to the Empress. Most importantly, he makes a local disciple, the ambitious young technophile photographer Liu Jinglun (Xia Yu), who becomes entranced by the new invention. Liu's initial fascination with the mechanics of moving pictures quickly develops into a visionary understanding of cinema's metaphysical and political potential.