The First Emperor of China tells the story of Ying Zheng, ruler of Qin, who conquered neighbouring states and declared himself Qin Shihuang, First Emperor of China. To consolidate the new kingdom’s unity, Qin ordered standardized systems of currency, writing, weights and measures, the completion of the Great Wall and the construction of a network of roads and canals. Though these reforms were positive, order was maintained by a harsh and intolerant system of justice. Qin’s battles, achievements and tyranny are recounted with a cast of thousands in epic style, with historically accurate costumes and meticulous attention to detail. Footage of Qin’s tomb, the most significant archaeological site in China, is also featured.

Length: 42:00

Film Details

  • Year Released: 1989
  • Date Released:
    July 1989
  • Alternate Titles:
  • Status: Inactive
  • 3D: No
  • Run Time: 31-50
  • Formats: 8/70, 15/70, DCI-compliant Digital
  • Distributor:

    Big Films Inc.

  • Produced By:
    National Film Board of Canada, Xi’an Film Studio, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Executive Producer:
  • Producer: Barry Howells, Pan Han Ci
  • Director:  Tony Ianzelo, Liu Hao Xue
  • Associate Producer: 
  • Writer:  Wang Ji Chjeng, Liu Yun Hui, Robert Duncan
  • Cinematography: Ernest McNabb
  • Sound Editor: 
  • Visual Effects:
  • Music/Score:  Eldon Rathburn, Zhao Ji Ping
  • Editor:
  • Narrator: Christopher Plummer
  • Other Credits:
  • Sponsors:


  • Cultural Studies
  • Destination
  • Documentary
  • Historical



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