Acknowledged as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time, 36th Chamber had a huge impact on hip hop.
Directed by Chia-Liang Liu and released in 1978, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin tells the story of Liu Yu-te (Gordon Liu Chia-hui), who flees from an oppressive, invading army that has killed his father and many of his friends. As summarized on IMDB,
Liu escapes to the Shaolin Temple in hopes of learning martial art, with which skill he may avenge his father’s death. The Abbot of the Shaolin Temple sympathises with Liu’s plight, accepting him as an inmate and giving him the name “San Te”. Liu does nothing but sweep the floors for nearly a year before being given permission to learn the Shaolin kung fu techniques, comprising 35 chambers. Of course, as a novice, he has to start from the lowest chamber. One of the 35 chambers concerns the study of Buddhism, and the others are devoted to the martial arts. Each pupil has to endure a stiff test in order to pass through any one chamber before going on to the next one. In an incredibly short time, Liu has mastered and passed 10 chambers, specializing in the employment of the fists, feet, palms, swords, sticks, lance, and other weapons. He continues to make tremendous progress in the art of kung fu, and with the approval of the Abbot, he leaves the temple and goes out into the country to not only attack the cruel Manchu henchmen, but also to recruit more patriotic youths for training in the temple.
Although you don’t need to watch the complete film, in fall 2016 it was available on Netflix.
- Video Lecture: 36th Chamber
[In GA View “Content”]
- Lecture Slides: 36th Chamber
- 36th Chamber