Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

(2011)

Historical drama tracing the parallel relationships between two female friends in 19th-century and modern-day China. Based on the bestseller by Lisa See.... More

Follows 7-year-olds girls Snow Flower and Lily, in 19th-century China, matched as laotong - or "old sames" - the Chinese practice in which two women bind themselves as sisters, together for eternity. In the face of rigid cultural norms imposed on women, they communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan. In a parallel story in present day Shanghai, the laotong's descendants, Nina and Sophia struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers, complicated love lives, and a relentlessly evolving Shanghai.

Both Lily and Nina are played by Bingbing Li (The Forbidden Kingdom), Snow Flower and Sophia are played by Gianna Jun (Blood: The Last Vampire).Hide

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  • This rich weave of eras looks pretty, but plays to an exoticised vision of old-world China, even as it demystifies the excruciating custom of foot-binding. Full Review

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