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The sleuthing exploits of Judge Dee, a character based on a 7th-century Chinese official, are gripping new audiences as new generations of writers, movie directors and storytellers tell his tale and build on his legend.
Judge Dee was cracking tough cases for centuries in China before Sherlock Holmes even got a clue. But perhaps more importantly, his stories continue to inform ordinary Chinese people's understanding of justice and law.
One new Judge Dee tale just hit cinemas in Asia, in IMAX and 3-D. It's directed by veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark.
"The first rule of sleuthing," Dee explains in the film "is that you need a photographic memory. "The second is that you need to closely observe people's speech and facial expressions."
But unlike Holmes, Judge Dee also dabbles in the supernatural. He ventures into the spirit world in search of clues. He gleans information from dreams, and in Tsui's latest film, he battles a sea monster.
It's Tsui's second Judge Dee movie in three years.
"This person is a real historical figure," Tsui said at a news briefing ahead of the film's premier in Beijing. "So we wanted to see how much we could exaggerate his persona, basing the story on the historical background, while creating a heroic figure from our mind's eye."