In 1936, China is experiencing political turbulence and the threat of division. The Japanese have invaded the northeastern provinces collectively known as Manchuria. Grandmaster Gong Baosen (Wang Qingxiang), whose home is in Japanese-occupied Manchura, and who is the leader of the martial arts world of Northern China, arrives in Foshan. He had been to Foshan previously to initiate exchanges between the martial artists of the North and those of the South but this time he has come at the invitation of the Southern masters to hold a ceremony at the Gold Pavilion to celebrate his impending retirement. An integral part of the ceremony involves a challenge and display of martial arts skills with a younger man. During a similar ceremony held at home in the Northeast, Gong's disciple and successor Ma San (Zhang Jin), a Xingyi master, performed this role. Master Gong's daughter Gong Er (Ziyi Zhang), who is the sole inheritor of her father's lethal Bagua-style '64 Hands' technique, also arrives in Foshan to witness her father step down. It is here where she encounters Ip Man. Who is qualified to take up the Old Master's challenge? Challenge leads to challenge, and masters contest masters. Meanwhile, the ongoing Japanese occupation of the Northeast sets the stage for a betrayal that will shake Master Gong's world. It will also cause Gong Er to make a decision that will change the course of her life. Gong Er and Ip Man meet again in Hong Kong in the 1950s; a new world populated by old alliances, lasting grievances, and fragments of past lives and desires. Ip Man, despite having lived through difficult and terrible times after the Japanese invaded Foshan, will not be defeated by hardship. He opens a school for Wing Chun in Hong Kong and soon acquires devoted disciples (including, in reality, Bruce Lee) and popularizes this form of kungfu: it has spread throughout the world and remains popular to this day, taught in countless schools all over the world.
- 2 hr 3 minPG13