Jiang Wu in a still from 'A Touch of Sin' (2013)
A Touch of Sin, © mk2 (2013)

ACMI presents

A Touch of Sin


Jia Zhangke | China, Japan, France | 2013 | MA15+

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Fri 9 Feb - Sat 17 Feb 2024

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Corrupt officials, social inequality, and abuses of power are all triggers for four characters who are pushed to take matters into their own hands.

Shocking. Stylish. Historic.

D'arcy Doran (Little White Lies)

Charting stories of contemporary life plucked straight from the headlines, four regular citizens in various regions are each pushed to meter out their own unique and violent forms of justice.

A coal miner becomes fed up with the corrupt officials exploiting his town, a woman working in a spa finds herself dangerously propositioned by government officials, and mounting financial pressures push two men to violent ends.

Curator's Note

Building on the themes of his previous films, A Touch of Sin flips the tone to a fever pitch in a taboo-filled film that challenged Chinese censors.

Originally titled Tian zhu ding in Mandarin, the film's official international title deliberately references director King Hu's 1971 wuxia film A Touch of Zen. Swordplay and fancy footwork aside, director Jia sees A Touch of Sin as a contemporary, hyper-realistic wuxia film in which his characters fight against oppression in modern-day China.

Celebrated around the world, the film made its world premiere at the 66th Cannes Film Festival where it screened in competition and received the award for Best Screenplay.

Reece Goodwin, Curator (Film & TV)

Format: DCP
Language: Mandarin, English and Cantonese with English subtitles
Source: mk2
Courtesy: mk2
Runtime: 130 mins

Event duration

130 mins



Contains strong violence. Viewers under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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A Touch of Sin (2013) - dir Jia Zhangke - SEO

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