Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972, HK) (aka Ai Nu)

In Yuen Chor's lesbian-tinged cult drama, an exploitational, semi-soft-core, not very graphic martial-arts tale of unrequited love and revenge in medieval China (one of the earliest erotic lesbian films in Chinese cinema):

  • the opening prologue (green-tinted, but replayed later in full color) - a night-time image of snowflakes falling into the open roof of a feudal-era estate, and dropping into the study, where the butler had found the corpse of an assassinated nobleman-aristocrat of the Liao family; police inspector Ji De (Yueh Hua) was investigating the murder allegedly committed by a vengeful prostitute named Ai Nu (Lily Ho) - the last person to see the wealthy dead man
  • the backstory flashback -- the forced subjugation and kidnapping of the film's heroine by brigands -- the hot-tempered young teacher Ai Nu; she was delivered to an exclusive and decadent brothel, the Four Seasons; the brothel was managed by regal, icy lesbian Lady Chun (Betty Pei Ti); the madame predicted: "Men will definitely go crazy for this girl"
  • the scene of the defiant, uncontrollable and willful Ai Nu who refused to eat, while the other female abductees were having their virginity tested (vaginally-inspected by red candle-light by an old woman)
Vaginal Inspections in Brothel
  • the sequence of one hapless girl who was sexually tortured by the candle with spread legs to divulge who had deflowered her three days earlier; shortly later, Lady Chun's minion Chou Hai (Hao Li), who had taken the girl's virginity, was identified and killed with one of her bare hands, using a secret kung-fu martial-arts technique known as "Ghost Hands" - she then threatened everyone watching: "I've told you people before. Don't ever mess with Lady Chun"; she was known for licking her bloody fingers after using her gruesome technique
  • Ai Nu resisted being treated with sexual brutalities and exploitation: ("I know this is hell. You're all beasts!"); to subdue her, she was imprisoned and then subjected to a cane-thrashing, after which Lady Chun licked blood from her open back wounds: ("You've got silky smooth skin...Why don't you just listen to me? You know what? You're really beautiful. I think I may have fallen for you"); Ai Nu was then given unsolicited oral sex (off-screen)
  • the auction scene, when four wealthy lecherous males were given the opportunity to bid on Ai Nu: "The highest bidder will enjoy her first" - although Ai Nu's price was set higher than usual; after being bought by the bearded, elderly father of the local governor, she was deflowered, and the other three were next in line, who raped her multiple times (ineffectively seen in slow-motion, reaction shots, in-and-out zooms, and freeze frames almost exclusively); methods of murder of her assailants varied: fire, an overdose of aphrodisiacs, a hairpin, and a whipping
Ai Nu's Auction - Followed by Multiple Rapes by the Highest Bidders
  • Ali Nu was driven by retribution to seek delayed revenge against the four bidders, while pretending to be Lady Chun's protégé and lover (as the brothel's most desirable hooker), in sapphic, soft-focus love scenes; the film contained a number of instances of topless courtesans in the background
  • the final sequence of Ai Nu's bringing of total carnage and revenge to the slavers and the brothel guards; Lady Chun assisted her - and thrust her right hand completely (with her "Ghost Hands" technique) into the chest of her major-domo enforcer Pao Hu (Lam Tung), as her right arm was chopped off at the same time; after Pao Hu fell dead (with her truncated arm stuck in his chest), Lady Chun asked about Ai Nu's reaction to her deformity: "Ai Nu, you won't stop loving me just because I'm now handicapped, would you?" - Ai Nu replied harshly: "No, I won't, because I never loved you"
  • then in the film's final fancy and frenzied swordplay confrontation, Lady Chun and Ai Nu fought against each other, as they discussed Ai Nu's revenge: "Looks like this is it. Today is the day for revenge. I wanted to use hatred for revenge, but I failed. Then I came up with the most brilliant idea in the whole world. I used love to take my revenge....To bring the brothel down, I used love to come between you and Pao Hu. Never could I imagine the damage love could inflict"; Lady Chun was shocked: "I didn't expect you to be more vicious than me"; Ai Nu responded that they had both become very alike: "Stop it. We are both despicable, heartless, merciless, cruel and sick. Now, perhaps, you've had a glimpse of how repulsive you are"; soon after some more fighting, Lady Chun's left arm was also chopped off (disarmed completely!)
  • Lady Chun spoke her last words, making a final request for a kiss: "You don't have to do this. I am dying anyway. I suppose this is karma. Even though you have killed me, yet I-I don't hate you a bit. Ai Nu, I love you. Could you kiss me once more before I die? It's my last request. Have pity on me. (They kissed) Thank you, Ai Nu"
Lady Chun to Ali Nu: "Could you kiss me...?" -- Dying Request
  • in the film's ending plot twist, Lady Chun revealed that she had secretly taken a poison capsule with the intent to poison Ali Nu during a kiss: ("Thank you for dying with me. I put a poisonous pill in my mouth. I was chewing it when you kissed me. You aren't like me. You still have a conscience. And a little love"); and then she abruptly expired; Ai Nu struggled to wipe her mouth, but to no avail - she also died

Corpse Discovered in Liao Family Estate

Abducted Ai Nu

Brothel Madam: Lady Chun

Lady Chun Licking Blood from Ai Nu's Thrashing Back Wounds

Topless Courtesans in Brothel

Lady Chung Licking Her Bloody Fingers After Using "Ghost Hands" Technique

Ali Nui - Lady Chun's Protege and Lover

Ai Nui and Lady Chun Allied Together to Fight with Martial Arts and Fancy Swordplay

Lady Chun's Right Arm Sliced Off as She Killed Pao Hu with "Ghost Hands" Technique

Lady Chun Disarmed Completely by Ali Nu


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