What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sorcerer and the White Snake is a 2011 Chinese film about an herbalist who falls in love with a woman whom he does not realize is actually a 1,000-year-old snake-demon and tries to save her as a master Buddhist monk tries to send her back to the demon world, thus righting the balance of the universe. There is frequent martial arts-style violence throughout the film -- characters do battle with swords and knives, and, in one instance, send thousands of bats at a character -- but what is most troubling for younger or more sensitive viewers is the nightmarish imagery throughout the film. Demon images -- bat-demons and snake-demons, for instance -- frequently appear, and in one scene the monk does battle in a hellish landscape of lakes of fire and spewing lava. Also, early in the film, two beautiful snake-women are shown very close to one another, holding one another in a provocative manner. This is an excellent film that is best for teens and older.
  • Families can talk about martial arts movies. How is this movie similar to and different from other martial arts movies?
  • How are fantasy elements employed in this movie?
  • Was the violence necessary to the story, or could the movie have been just as engaging without it?
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