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Meaning of Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon (source: Kung, 2001)

The title is made of Lo's and Jen's names. Lo's name is Luo Tsiao Hu. Tsiao Hu means "little tiger". Jen's name is Yu Jiao Long. Jiao Long means "delicate dragon". Crouching tiger and hidden dragon combined is a Chinese proverb that means "talented or dangerous people hidden from view," which fits both Lo and Jen.


Crane Precious Sword Crouching Iron Pentalogy (source: MonkeyPeaches, 2001)

Summarized Version

The title was formed by combing the first characters of all five parts and was known as Crane - Iron Pentalogy for short. The main plot of the pentalogy is a story of four couples. Part I, Crane Frightens Kunlun, is about Jiang Nan He (means Crane), and Bao A Luan (Luan is a mythical bird like the phoenix). In the movie, Jen said "Be you Li or Southern Crane, lower your head and ask for mercy." while fighting inside the restaurant. The story of Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) and Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) starts from Part II, Precious Sword, Gold Hairpin, continues throughout Part III, Sword Force, Pearl Shine and Part IV, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and ends in Part V, Iron Knight, Silver Vase. Story of Lo (Chang Chen) and Jen (Zhang Ziyi) starts from Part IV and ends in Part V. The last couple, Han Tie Fang ("tie" means iron) and Chun Xue Ping ("ping" means vase) is in the last part. Among the four couples, only the last one has a happen ending, the other three end up in tragedies. The story is set in 1778 (Kung, 2001).

Part I: Crane Frightens Kunlun

The Tale of Dancing Crane and Singing Luan (Luan is a mythical bird like the phoenix).

The story of the pentalogy starts with the death of Jiang Zhi Sheng (father of Southern Crane), who is killed by his master. Southern Crane (Jiang Nan He) with the help of Li Feng Jie seeks revenge on the master. The master uses Ji Guang Jie to fight against Jiang Nan He. Bao A Luan, the master's grandaughter is trapped between two lovers (Southern Crane and Ji Guang Jie), and kills herself to protect her grandfather. Southern Crane asks Ji Guang Jie to teach Li Mu Bai, son of Li Feng Jie.

  • Jiang Zhi Sheng (killed by his master)
  • Bao Kun Lun (master)
  • Southern Crane (Jiang Nan He, Jiang Zhi Sheng's young son, )
  • Li Feng Jie (Southern Crane's ally)
  • Bao A Luan (Luan is a mythical bird like the phoenix), the master's grandaughter
  • Ji Guang Jie (the master's warrior)
  • Li Mu Bai (the character played by Chow Yun-Fat), son of Li Feng Jie.

Part II: Precious Sword, Gold Hairpin

The Tale of Precious Sword and Gold Hairpin

The basic storyline is: Li Mu Bai is in love with Yu Shu Lien, but he is unable to move one step further after knowing that his brother, Meng Si Zhao, has an unfulfilled marriage arrangement with Yu Shu Lien. Meng Si Zhao is killed in the process of protecting his brother. Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien continue to have a brother-sister sister relationship. Li Mu Bai's relationship with Xie Cui Xian (a prostitute) ends as he is arrested for killing a local tyrant. Awaiting his death, Li Mu Bai is taken away from jail by Southern Crane.

  • Li Mu Bai (the character played by Chow Yun-Fat), son of Li Feng Jie.
  • Yu Shu Lien (Yu Xiu Lian / Yui Hsui Lien, played by Michelle Yeoh)
  • Meng Si Zhao (Li Mui Bai's brother and Yu Shu Lien's fiancé)
  • Xie Cui Xian (prostitute)
  • Southern Crane (Jiang Nan He, friend of Li Mu Bai's father).

Part III: Sword Force, Pearl Shine

Originally named The Tale of Sword Force and Pearl Shine

The basic storyline is: Li Mui Bai receives the Green Destiny and Luo Yang Bao (Lo's brother) steals the imperial pearl from Beijing.

  • Li Mu Bai (received the Green Destiny)
  • Southern Crane (friend of Li Mu Bai's father, drew martial arts manual)
  • Luo Yang Bao (Lo's brother )

Part IV: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

The Tale of Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon

The basic story line is: It is about the story of Lo (played by Chang Chen) and Jen (Played by Zhang Ziyi). The full name of Lo is Luo Xiao Hu (Luo is his family name and "Xiao Hu" is his first name, which means "little tiger") The full name of Jen is Yu Jiao Long ("Yu" is her family name and means jade. "Jiao Long" is her firstname, which means "delicate dragon").

Governor Yu of Xinjiang (in the northwest part of China) has been called back to Beijing to be in charge of guarding nine city gates of Beijing. Sir Te is given the legendary Green Destiny Sword. Later that night, the Green Destiny disappears and Sir Te asks Yu Shu Lien to investigate.

Governor Yu's daughter, Jen (Zhang Ziyi) has been ordered to marry an ugly scholar Lu Bi Pei from the influential Lu family to preserve her father and brother's reputation, but Jen, naïve and spoiled, is unwilling to get married. One day, when Cai is about to finish off Jade Fox, a masked woman shows up and kills Cai. Even Yu Shu Lien is not able to defeat the mask woman because of her strange moves. Li Mu Bai comes for the lost sword and discovers that the mask woman's moves shares the same origin with his Wu Dang.

Yu Shu Lien visits Jen at Sir Tei's home, and advises her not to do anything stupid even though she is not happy about her upcoming marriage. Yu Shu Lien does not know that Lo is inside the room. Four years ago in Xinjiang, Lo attacked the Governess Yu's convoy. Jen chased Lo for three days and fell in love with him. To change Lo's social status, Jen asks Lo to take the imperial exam (an open system of selecting government officials) in Beijing, but Lo fails as he is illiterate.

Jen's wedding ceremony is ruined by Lo. Both Jen and the Green Destiny disappear that night. She dresses in a man's clothing. Jen becomes a public enemy and is chased by everybody as she kills without mercy.

When Jen's identity is revealed, Governor Yu is blamed for her crime and he is forced to sign a document of condemning his daughter. Worrying about her family, Jen secretly returns to Beijing but is arrested. Yu Shu Lien breaks into the jail and takes Jen away. While staying with Yu Shu Lien, Jen starts to understand the true meaning of warriorship and the relationship between freedom and responsibility. However, Yu Shu Lien refuses to share her secret with Jen. Jen thinks that Yu Shu Lien is not a real friend and runs away again. Jen tries to stop a group of robbers and is besieged by them. Li Mu Bai saves her and sends her home. Lo rescues Jen from Lu's house, and the Governor still does not forgive her. Outside the Beijing City, Jen and Lo encounter Li Mu Bai. Li Mu Bai is wounded as he is unwilling to fight. Yu Shu Lien has no choice but to fight Jen. After the death of her mother and the end of her father's career, Jen fakes her death by jumping of a cliff in order to have a new life. Even in love with Lo, Jen still feels that a bandit could not fit in her social status. She runs away again after only one night with Lo and vanishes into the desert with a horse and a sword, the Green Destiny.

  • Li Mu Bai
  • Yu Shu Lien
  • Lo or Dark Cloud (Luo Xiao Hu), Luo is his family name and "Xiao Hu" is his first name. "Xiao" means young, little or small and "hu" means tiger)
  • Jen (Yu Jiao Long), "Yu" is her family name and means jade. "Jiao Long" is her firstname. "Jiao" has multiple meanings: 1. tender, lovely, charming; 2. fragile, frail, delicate; 3. squeamish; 4. pamper, spoil. "Long" means dragon).
  • Lu Bi Pei , Jen's husband
  • Gao Lang Chiu (Jen's master both in martial arts and literature, Jade Fox is not Jen's master).

Part V: Iron Knight, Silver Vase

Originally named The Tale of Iron Knight and Silver Vase with nineteen chapters.

The basic storyline is: Jen gives birth to Lo's son. Fang secretly replaces her son with a baby girl, Silver Vase. Later Fang is robbed and rescued by an armed escort. Jen's son is taken to Han Wen Pei's home by the maid and named Iron Knight. After growing up, Iron Knight travels miles to look for his parents. When he finally meets Jen and Lo in the desert, he doesn't recognize them until they are both killed in front of him. The pentalogy ends when Iron Knight and Silver Vase are joined together. In the end, Yu Shu Lian dies from disease and Li Mu Bai loses his chance to be with her forever. But the biggest tragedy is the tiger (Lo) perishes in the icy mountain and the dragon (Jen) gets lost in the desert.

  • Iron Knight (Han Tie Fang, son of Lo)
  • Silver Vase (Chun Xue Ping, Jen's replaced baby)


Preqeul

Preqeul script is currently done by Sia Mei Hua. According to Sia, the movie will start with the Green Destiny Sword being unearthed followed by a struggle of controlling the sword by many masters, including Li Mu Bai's master, Southern Crane (Jiang Nan He).

This prequel is based on part II of the Crane Precious Sword Crouching Iron Pentalogy (as Crane - Iron Pentalogy for short), Precious Sword, Gold Hairpin. It will tell the story of Li Mu Bai (played by Chow Yun-Fat in CTHD), Yu Shu Lien (played by Michelle Yeoh in CTHD), Yu Shu Lien's fiancé Meng Si Zhao, and prostitute Xie Cui Xian.

The basic storyline is: Yu Shu Lien's father, head of an armed escort service, had decided to close down the business to keep Yu Shu Lien away from the bloody Kung-Fu brotherhood. However, his daughter had already secretly mastered the martial art. She even planed a contest to challenge all contestants in order to choose a husband. Newcomer of the brotherhood Li Mu Bai joined the contest only for testing his skills. During the fight, they started to fall in love. Li Mu Bai is in love with Yu Shu Lien, fiancée of his sworn brother Meng Si Zhao, and prostitute Xie Cui Xian, who looks like Yu Shu Lien. Before their relationship has any further development, Li Mu Bai discovered that Yu Shu Lien and his sworn brother had an unfulfilled marriage, arranged when they were still unborn.


Director

Cast


Filming Locations

Wudan Mountain scene Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain) - The real Wudan Mountian is in Hu Bei province, it's close to the center of China, north of Yanzi River. A lot of the Wudan scenes were actually shot at Huang Shan (Yellow Mountains). Huang Shan is in An Hue province and it's one of the most famous scenic mountains in China. An Hue is in the southeastern China and is an inland province with Yangzi River flowing through.

Gobi desert scene

Tian Shan (Sky Mountain)


Wang Dulu (1909 - 1977), the author (source: MonkeyPeaches, 2001)

Wang Dulu's real name is Bao Xiang and his another name is Bao Xiaoyu. He was born in a poor ethic Manchu family in Beijing on the even of the revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. After the death of Wang Dulu's father, when he was seven, the income from his mother and sisters could barely support them. Because of the financial difficulty, he had never received any undisturbed education. Started at age twelve, he had two job, a helper in a spectacles store and a servant for an low ranking army officer. He lost both jobs due to his bad health and poor skill. Because of his hardworking, he became a elementary school teacher before graduation from middle school. Wang Dulu loved both Chinese and western literatures. He did some very deep analysis on Shakespeare and other western literators' works. He even used Sigmund Freud's psychological theories to describe his characters and combined both traditional Chinese and western writing styles for his novels. Wang Dulu's novels were not well-known until they were published by Li Li Publisher in Shanghai after the war. After the founding of the People's of Republic of China, his works were depreciated and forgotten. Despite poor health, he continued to write until 1949. In the same year, Wang Dulu family moved to Liaoning Province and started his career as a full-time teacher.

Wang Dulu said he wrote Wuxia novels only for making a living. He considered popular Wuxia fictions are just cheap entertainment for the lower class. Regretted to be such kind of novelist, he even said, "it's the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life". Wang Dulu was unique for his tragic love stories.

During the cultural revaluation (1966 - 1976), he and his family were sent down to the countryside. In 1975, Wang Dulu died from illness at age 68.

In 1983, Tales of Today and the Past magazine started to post a novel called Yu Jiao Long by Nie Yunlan. Although it was indicated that Nie Yunlan was only a rewriter, Wang Dulu's name was no where to be found. Actually, Yu Jiao Long was based on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Shortly after, the magazine posted his another novel Chun XuePing, based on Iron Knight, Silver Vase. Both were instant success and the circulation of the magazine soared from 410,000 to 2,730,000. Years later, both novels were formally published and Nie Yunlan caught fame and wealth.

When Nie Yunlan rewrote Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, he did not know Wang Dulu was a modern day person and he had to deal with copyright issue in 1987, when Wang Dulu's wife Li Danquan contacted him. Nie Yunlan apologized to Li Danquan and she agreed not to demand any compensation. The dispute formerly ended when Nie Yunlan passed away. After the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon the movie, Yu Jiao Long and Chun Xue Ping were republished and Tales of Today and the Past published a special edition for them. A TV company has planned to make a series based on them. Wang Dulu's family has asked to stop the publishing and the TV project. While the dispute with Tales of Today and the Past has been settled, Nie Yunlan's family is still trying to persuade Wang Dulu's family to greenlight series. The dispute is yet to be resolved.

Some of Wang Dulu works has been published on Qiao Bao, a Chinese newspaper in the US. Ang Lee decided to make Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon after reading the novel five years ago. In 2000, Wang Dulu's novels have started to be republished in Chinese around the world, thanks for the movie. A Japanese publisher has planned to publish them in Japan. The TV version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has been aired. Weather there will be an English version will depends on how well the movie can do in the US.


Crane Precious Sword Crouching Iron Pentalogy (source: MonkeyPeaches, 2001)

The title was formed by combing the first characters of all five parts and was known as Crane - Iron Pentalogy for short. The main plot of the pentalogy is a story of four couples. Part I, Crane Frightens Kunlun, is about Jiang Xiao He, later known as Jiang Nan He (means Crane), and Bao A Luan (Luan is a mythical bird like the phoenix). In the movie, Jen said "Be you Li or Southern Crane, lower your head and ask for mercy." while fighting inside the restaurant. The story of Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) and Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) starts from Part II, Precious Sword, Gold Hairpin, continues throughout Part III, Sword Force, Pearl Shine and Part IV, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and ends in Part V, Iron Knight, Silver Vase. Story of Lo (Chang Chen) and Jen (Zhang Ziyi) starts from Part IV and ends in Part V. The last couple, Han Tie Fang ("tie" means iron) and Chun Xue Ping ("ping" means vase) is in the last part. Among the four couples, only the last one has a happen ending, the other three ends up in tragedies.

Part I: Crane Frightens Kunlun

Originally named The Tale of Dancing Crane and Singing Luan (Luan is a mythical bird like the phoenix) with twenty chapters. Story of the pentalogy starts with the death of Jiang Zhi Sheng, who is killed by his master, Bao Kun Lun for breaking the rule of not having any affair with women. Jiang Xiao, Jiang Zhi Sheng's young son, runs away from home to learn martial art and returns as a well-know master, called Jiang Nan He. Jiang Nan He with the help of Li Feng Jie seeks revenge on Bao Kun Lun. Bao Kun Lun uses Ji Guang Jie to fight against Jiang Nan. Bao A Luan, Bao Kun Lun's grandaughter is trapped between two lovers, and kills herself to protect her grandfather. Bao Kun Lun takes his own life after his granddaughter's death, After sending Bao A Luan's body to her hometown, Jiang Nan He asks Ji Guang Jie to teach Li Mu Bai, son of Li Feng Jie. He moves to Mt. Jiu Hua and becomes a hermit.

Part II: Precious Sword, Gold Hairpin

Originally named The Tale of Precious Sword and Gold Hairpin with thirty-four chapters. Li Mu Bai is in love with Yu Shu Lien (Yu Xiu Lian / Yui Hsui Lien, played by Michelle Yeoh), but he is unable to move one step further after knowing that his sworn brother, Meng Si Zhao, has an unfulfilled marriage arrangement with Yu Shu Lien. Meng Si Zhao is killed in the process of protecting his brother. Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien continue to have a brother-sister relationship. Li Mu Bai's relationship with Xie Cui Xian (a prostitute) ends as he is arrested for killing a local tyrant, Huang Ji Bei. Awaiting his death, Li Mu Bai is taken away from jail by Jiang Nan He (friend of Li Mu Bai's father from part I).

Part III: Sword Force, Pearl Shine

Originally named The Tale of Sword Force and Pearl Shine with twenty-two chapters. After starting his life as a fugitive, Li Mu Bai receives a precious sword, The Green Destiny. Without telling Jiang Nan He, Li Mu Bai starts to practice the martial arts as he is given a martial art book from a Buddhist monk Jing Xuan. Luo Yang Bao, Lo's (Luo Xiao Hu from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ) brother,steals the imperial pearl from the forbidden city.

Part IV: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Originally named The Tale of Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon with fourteen chapters. It is about the story of Lo (played by Chang Chen) and Jen (Played by Zhang Ziyi). The full name of Lo is Luo Xiao Hu (Luo is his family name and "Xiao Hu" is his first name. "Xiao" means young, little or small and "hu" means tiger) The full name of Jen is Yu Jiao Long ("Yu" is her family name and means jade. "Jiao Long" is her firstname. "Jiao" has multiple meanings: 1. tender, lovely, charming; 2. fragile, frail, delicate; 3. squeamish; 4. pamper, spoil. "Long" means dragon).

Iron fisted Governor Yu of Xinjiang (in the northwest part of China) has been called back to Beijing to be in charge of guarding nine city gates of Beijing. His proposal of cleaning up the capital immediately creates a storm among the corrupted officials and gangs. Inside Sir Te's home, in front of many masters, Sir Te receives the legendary Green Destiny Sword, which has been given by Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat). Later that night, the Green Destiny disappears and Sir Te asks Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) to investigate. Governor Yu's daughter, Jen (Zhang Ziyi) has been ordered to marry an ugly scholar Lu Bi Pei from the influential Lu family to preserve her father and brother's reputation, but Jen, naïve and spoiled, is unwilling to get married. To divert herself, Jen lets street performer Cai and his daughter, who has been shouting Jade Fox's name outside of Governor Yu's house for days, into her home to do some performances. Yu Shu Lien discovers that for many years Cai was chasing Jade Fox, who killed his wife. One day, when Cai is about to finish off Jade Fox, a masked woman shows up and kills Cai. Even Yu Shu Lien is not able to defeat the mask woman because of her strange moves. The mask woman runs away only after Li Mu Bai shows up. Li Mu Bai comes for the lost sword and discovers that the mask woman's moves shared the same origin with hisWu Dang. However, Yu Shu Lien asks Li Mu Bai to leave.

Yu Shu Lien visits Jen at Sir Tei's home, and advises her not to do anything stupid even though she is not happy about her upcoming marriage. Yu Shu Lien does not know that there is another person inside the room &endash; Lo (Chang Chen). Four years ago in Xinjiang, bandit "Black Cloud" Lo attacked Governess Yu's convoy. Jen chased Lo for three days and ended up with falling in love with him. To change Lo's social status, Jen asks Lo to take the imperial exam (an open system of selecting government officials) in Beijing but Lo fails as he is illiterate. Now Lo asks Jen to run away with him. At that night, the Green Destiny mysteriously reappeared at Sir Te's house.

Next day, Jen's wedding ceremony is ruined by Lo. Both Jen and the Green Destiny disappear at that night. Right after, a lone warrior appeared in Giang Hu (the brotherhood of martial artists). The warrior is Jen who dresses in man's clothing. She kills often without mercy and becomes a public enemy and is chased by everybody.

Years ago, Jiang Nan He drew The Illustrated Collection of Jiu Hua Fist and Sword (a martial art guidebook) for his fellow pupil Ya Xia (dumb warrior) based on the secret martial art of Taoist monk Jiu Hua. Ya Xia wanted to marry Jade Fox (Geng Liu Niang, played by Cheng Pei-Pei) and taught her some skills from the book. After Jade Fox murdered Ya Xia, the book fell into the hand of Gao Lang Qiu, who passes the skills to Jen. Jen had to obey Jade Fox for her action of stealing the book.

When Jen's identity is revealed, Governor Yu is blamed for her crime. After forcing Governor Yu to sign a document of condemning his daughter, the corrupters and gangs obtain control of Beijing City. Worrying about her family, Jen secretly returns to Beijing but is arrested. Yu Shu Lien breaks into the jail and takes Jen away. While staying with Yu Shu Lien, Jen starts to understand the true meaning of warriorship and the relationship between freedom and responsibility. However, Yu Shu Lien refusesto share her secret with Jen. Jen thinks that Yu Shu Lien is not a real friend and runs away again. Jen tries to stop a group of robbers and is besieged by them. Li Mu Bai saves Jen, sends her to her husband's house and makes her very angry. After knowing what her father had suffered, Jen hates Li Mu Bai even further. Lo rescues Jen from Lu's house, and the Governor still does not forgive her. Outside Beijing City, Jen and Lo encounter Li Mu Bai. Unwilling to fight, Li Mu Bai is wounded. Yu Shu Lien has no choice but to fight Jen. After the death of her mother and the end of her father's career, Jen fakes her death by jumping of a cliff in order to have a new life. Even in love with Lo, Jen still feels that a bandit could not fit in her social status. For carrying out the promise she made to her mother, she runs away again after only one night with Lo and vanishes into the desert with a horse and a sword, the Green Destiny.

Part V: Iron Knight, Silver Vase

Originally named The Tale of Iron Knight and Silver Vase with nineteen chapters. Jen gives birth to Luo Xiao Hu's son. Right after, Fang secretly replaces her son with a baby girl, Chun Xue Ping ("ping" means vase). Later Fang is robbed and rescued by armed escort Han Wen Pei and Fang's maid starts to live with Han Wen Pei. Jen's son is taken to Han Wen Pei's home by the maid and named Han Tie Fang ("tie" means iron). After growing up, Han Tie Fang travels miles to look for his parents. When he finally meets Jen and Lo in a desert, he doesn't recognize them until they are both killed in front of him. The pentalogy ends when Iron Knight (Han Tie Fang) and Silver Vase(Chun Xue Ping) are joined together. In the end, Yu Shu Lian dies from disease and Li Mu Bai loses his chance to be with her forever. But the biggest tragedy is the tiger (Lo) perishes in the icy mountain and the dragon (Jen) gets lost in the desert.

Preqeul

Preqeul script is currently done by Sia Mei Hua. According to Sia, the movie will start with the Green Destiny Sword being unearthed followed by a struggle of controlling the sword by many masters, including Li Mu Bai's master, Southern Crane (Jiang Nan He).

This prequel is based on part II of the Crane Precious Sword Crouching Iron Pentalogy (as Crane - Iron Pentalogy for short), Precious Sword, Gold Hairpin. It will tell the story of Li Mu Bai (played by Chow Yun-Fat in CTHD), Yu Shu Lien (played by Michelle Yeoh in CTHD), Yu Shu Lien's fiancé Meng Si Zhao, and prostitute Xie Cui Xian.

The basic storyline is: Yu Shu Lien's father, head of an armed escort service, had decided to close down the business to keep Yu Shu Lien away from the bloody Kung-Fu brotherhood. However, his daughter had already secretly mastered the martial art. She even planed a contest to challenge all contestants in order to choose a husband. Newcomer of the brotherhood Li Mu Bai joined the contest only for testing his skills. During the fight, they started to fall in love. Li Mu Bai is in love with Yu Shu Lien, fiancée of his sworn brother Meng Si Zhao, and prostitute Xie Cui Xian, who looks like Yu Shu Lien. Before their relationship has any further development, Li Mu Bai discovered that Yu Shu Lien and his sworn brother had an unfulfilled marriage, arranged when they were still unborn.

Producer Hsu Li-Kong has revealed the plot of prequel, which will be based on Part II and/or Part III.

Ending Scence of CTHD

The ending of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is: Jen (Zhang ziyi) jumped off the cliff for her lover, Lo (Chang Chen). However there was nothing but dense fog under the cliff, which left an open ending for the sequel.

 

 


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