Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

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

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).

2011120 minsChina, USA
AdaptationDramaHistorical
Director:
Wayne Wang ('Maid in Manhattan', 'Smoke', 'The Joy Luck Club', 'Last Holiday')
Writer:
Angela WorkmanRonald BassMichael Ray
Cast:
Bingbing LiGianna JunArchie KaoVivian WuJiang WuCoco Chiang

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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan / Reviews

Variety

Variety

Mawkish, clunky and unenlightening about female suffering.

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Total Film

Total Film

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.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

A lack of basic human chemistry sink this gloopy, soft-focus film.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

An emotionally powerful tale of two sets of Chinese women in two different centuries.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

Wang's film doesn't do much more than splash colour on a story of deep-felt friendship.

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