EW Staff
March 07, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Like all the best fairy tales, The King of Masks, a beautifully told story of a lonely old street performer in 1930s China and the child he apprentices, has plenty of harshness along with the sweet. Children are bought and sold, a desperate deception ends with banishment, and death hovers like the ever-present provincial soldiers, but the elasticity of love ensures redemption, and yes, a happily-ever-after ending.

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