熙寧變法

宋神宗即位之初,飽受內憂外患,極需富國強兵良策。大臣司馬光引薦王安石,他構思的新法獲神宗賞識,進封為參知政事。太后堅持祖宗法度,且對王氏能力存疑,神宗遂命他審理一宗殺夫疑案以證其實力。嫌犯柯雪原自辯是自衛殺夫,卻因衙吏受賄被屈打成招。妹妹柯雲聞得親姊死訊,即到府堂鳴冤。王安石力主明辨是非,最後平反柯雪罪名。其後王安石往太學論法,與司馬光及蘇軾等人產生嚴重分歧。金殿上,新法的激烈議論導致群臣分裂,神宗甚至降司馬光之職而為新法護航。新法無法順利推行,民不聊生,最終司馬光促請神宗廢止新法。安石微服視察民情,知悉百姓痛恨變法,悲痛不已。十年後,神宗駕崩,安石彌留之際掠過浮生影像,一代政治家最終與世長辭。



The Xining Reform

When Emperor Shenzong of the Song Dynasty has just acceded to the throne, China is beset with troubles at home and threats from abroad. A sound strategy for uniting the nation and strengthening the army is badly needed. Minister Sima Guang recommends Wang Anshi to the emperor, who is impressed byWang's plan of reform; the emperor promotes Wang. The empress dowager adheres to the laws laid down by previous emperors and is doubtful about Wang's ability.

 

The emperor tests Wang by having him examine a puzzling case of a woman murdering her husband. The suspect, Ke Xue, had insisted that she killed her husband in self-defense, but a bribed official extorted her confession through torture. Learning of her death, Ke Xue's sister Ke Yun comes to the court to complain.Wang insists on finding out the truth and eventually proves Ke Xue's innocence.

 

Later on, Wang goes to the imperial college for a discussion on reform and strongly disagrees with Sima GuangSu Shi and others. In the imperial palace, a heated debate over the reform causes disunity among the ministers, and the emperor goes so far as to demote Sima Guang in support of the reform. However, the reform turns out be a failure, causing misery among the people. Finally, Sima Guang requests the emperor to abolish it. In plain clothes, Wang goes to see how the people live and is deeply saddened to know that citizens hate his reform. Ten years later, with Emperor Shenzong passing away, Wang sees flashbacks of his life before he dies as a historical statesman.