Rise of the Phoenixes: Recommendation

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Romance and intrigue, offset with intense action scenes, make this a thrill ride from start to finish. Chinese historical dramas are enjoying a Golden Age, and while that may be a state-endorsed attempt to boost China’s “soft power” through cloying cultural exports, this is propaganda you can sit back and enjoy. Lead actress Ni Ni is mesmerizing as Zhiwei, a cross-dressing, studious girl nicknamed the Civet Cat for her mischievous ways.

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