Sacrificeis a 2010 Chinese historical drama film directed by Chen Kaige . The film is based on the Yuan Dynasty playOrphan of Zhao.
The story is set in the Jin state during the Spring and Autumn Period of ancient China . The chancellor Zhao Dun and his son, general Zhao Shuo, have a rift with general Tu Angu. Tu secretly murders the duke with poison and pushes the blame to the Zhao family, using that as an excuse to massacre the entire Zhao clan of about 300 people. The only survivor is Zhao Shuo's baby son Zhao Wu, born to the duke's older sister Princess Zhuang. Zhuang pleads with Tu Angu's subordinate Han Jue to spare her child and commits suicide after entrusting Zhao Wu to the physician Cheng Ying, telling Cheng to bring the child to Gongsun Chujiu, a friend of the Zhao family. When Tu Angu learns that the orphan had escaped, he slashes his sword at Han Jue's face in anger, disfiguring him. Subsequently, Tu issues orders to seal the gates and conduct a search in the city for the child.
Cheng Ying brings the baby Zhao Wu home, but his wife gives up the child to the searching soldiers, claiming that Zhao Wu is her own son. Cheng then asks Gongsun Chujiu to bring his wife and son (disguised as Zhao Wu) out of the city, but security is too tight. Cheng then goes to retrieve the real Zhao Wu from Tu Angu. Tu finds Cheng suspicious and Cheng lies that the Zhao orphan has been taken out of the city by Gongsun. Tu then leads his soldiers to Gongsun's house and finds Cheng's wife and son. Tu thinks that Cheng's son is the Zhao orphan and he kills the infant, as well as Gongsun and Cheng's wife.
Cheng is devastated by the loss of his family and he swears vengeance on Tu Angu. He brings Zhao Wu to Tu's house and raises the boy there. Tu misbelieves that Zhao Wu is Cheng's child and treats him like a son. Zhao Wu gradually grows up under Tu's tutelage and develops a father-son bond with Tu. Cheng Ying also forges a close friendship with the disfigured Han Jue and they secretly plot to help Zhao Wu avenge his family.
One day, Cheng Ying breaks the truth to Zhao Wu, telling him that Tu Angu, who has been a fatherly figure to him for the past 15 years, is actually the murderer of his family. Zhao is unable to accept the truth initially but his attitude changes as he hears from Han Jue about how Cheng Ying sacrificed his own son to save him. Zhao and Cheng finally confront Tu Angu, but Tu is aware of Zhao's true identity, as over the years, he has noticed that the boy resembles Zhao Shuo. Zhao Wu engages Tu Angu in a sword fight but is no match for Tu. At the critical moment, Cheng sacrifices himself to give Zhao an opportunity to stab and kill Tu. The film ends with the dying Cheng having a vision of his reunion with his family.