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Snow Flower And The Secret Fan 2011

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4.0 out of 5 stars (55) IMDb 6.1/10

In 19th-century China, seven year old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan.

Starring:
Russell Wong, Bingbing Li
Runtime:
1 hour, 44 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Historical
Director Wayne Wang
Starring Russell Wong, Bingbing Li
Supporting actors Archie Kao, Ji-hyun Jun, Coco Chiang, Hu Qing Yun, Shiping Cao, Ruijia Zhang, Vivian Wu, Zhebing Gong, Lilia Zhou, Congmeng Guo, Danping Shen, Yan Dai, Yulan Xu, Shiming Wang, Shouqin Xu, Ying Tang, Chen Tao, Feihu Sun
Studio Twentieth Century Fox
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
`Snow Flower' is one of those movies which you're likely to enjoy more if you haven't read the book around which it's based. It's an emotionally charged historical drama which contrasts two parallel tales of friendship between women, one set in the 19th century and the other in the modern world. The film interpretation is quite different to the book, although the core themes are the same.
Set in the feudal era of warlords, arranged marriages and foot-binding, the historical aspect of the film follows the fortunes of two young girls in Hunan who are paired together as laotong, friends for life. This reflects the formal marriages of the time when girls were parcelled off to make a good match, without the prospect of love or companionship within their marriages. The film delicately explores the changing fortunes of the pair as their paths separate and they become isolated, with only a series of secret messages for support.
200 years later in modern Shanghai, another childhood friendship appears to be unravelling as the women reach maturity and seem to be going their separate ways. As children they mimicked their ancestors by signing a traditional laotong contract - as adults they must explore what that means, or lose each other's friendship forever.

We enjoyed the historical segments of the film far more than the modern ones, although the mirrored themes are cleverly represented across them both. The four main characters are played by two actresses who deliver heart-wrenching performances with plot threads interwoven between the two time periods.
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I had read the book which the film is based on a few years ago and did not know it had been made into a film until I caught it on TV recently. I had missed most of the TV transmission so I purchased the movie. It has a nice mix if modern and ancient china running the stories of two women parallel in the two different times which the book did not. Personally I would not read the book before watching the film read the book afterwards to fill in more detail. A great story of female friendship which many women will relate to.
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Format: DVD
This film is made of two distinct story lines, one in modern day Shanghai and the other set in rural China in the 1820's. Both concern two women, who are played by the same two actresses in both settings, who are in each case a 'Laotong' to eachother, something akin to a female soul-mate. The film parallels their struggles in the modern world and that of two centuries earlier.
In the 1820's, which was definitely the more interesting story line, the two girls named Lily and Snow Flower, are paired together across a social divide as Laotongs to each other. Both have their feet bound as young girls, and Lily is praised for the perfect form of her feet, which enable her to acquire a husband of higher social standing, such was the concept of beauty and social worth. Snow Flower, from a richer family, marries less well after her father becomes a bankrupt opium-pipe addict. This story follows the struggle of both women through married life in a male-dominated society, and is at times very poignant and moving, with excellent scenes and costume. The women communicate with each other by writing on a fan that they pass between them.
The modern day story line also tells the life of the two girls, Nina and Sophia, in a different but very comparable situation. Nina's family is ruined by a stock market crash and is separated from Sophia, when she meets a nightclub singer and owner (Hugh Jackman cameo), and after an accident both girls are reunited, realising that their friendship is the most important thing to them.
The parallels in the two settings deliver the message that despite the great changes in the world across centuries and generations, the most important things in life, such as human relationships, remain immutable.
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Not the worst film I've seen but definitly seen better. The story line was quite endearing but I found some of the acting slightly wooden. Such a shame cause I think this could be a film worthy of five stars if maybe a little more time was taken with it. I did like the parallels between the old and modern and some of the scenery was effective.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Beautiful and touching movie -- that love between anyone has to endure the differences of choices etc, and also, doesn't matter what century etc. emotions never are any different - just the 'settings' - good acting, good costumes, scenes etc. well worth watching -
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Charming and sometimes very sad story of two childhood friends and their subsequent adult lives in rural China . Remaining true to each other despite their very different lifestyles . A well made storyline and good acting .
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I must admit that I love Chinese and Japanese names - Snow Flower is beautiful and poetic. Take note celebs when naming children! I am also a massive fan of Asian Cinema -whether it be action Martial arts films or gentler ones like this. I don't know how anyone could be cynical about this film, dealing as it does with vows of true friendship that we in the West could learn from. It is an unashamed 'weepie' and maybe more aimed at women than us men, but I allow myself a guilty pleasure now and again. The photography and acting are gorgeous and the sentiments expressed laudable. I watched the film twice over as some of the flitting through time became a little confusing first time around-but all was much clearer second time. I am almost certain that I will watch it again! I am glad I haven't read the book as that invariably spoils the effect as the book and the film are rarely the same and purists will complain, as I might have done!
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