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A prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Rising tells the story of a young Hannibal Lechter in three different stages of his life, including his childhood in Lithuania and his ten years in England before capture.
The story begins in Eastern Europe at the desperate end of World War II. For many it was no longer a conflict of nations but one of individual survival – at any cost. A young Hannibal watches from only steps away as his parents’ violently die, leaving his cherished young sister in his care. This horrific moment will soon pale in comparison to the atrocities he is forced to witness and perhaps survive as a result of.
Alone and without any means of support, he is forced to live in a Soviet Orphanage that once served as his family’s beloved home. He flees to Paris to find his uncle has died but his beautiful and mysterious Japanese widow, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) welcomes him. Even her kindness and love cannot soothe the nightmares and sorrows that plague him. Showing a cunning aptitude for science he is accepted into medical school, which serves to hone his skills and provide the tools to exact justice on the war criminals that haunt him day and night. This quest will ignite an insatiable lust within a serial killer who was not born, but made.