Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (film)

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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Dance
Snow flower and the secret fan poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wayne Wang
Produced by Wendi Murdoch
Florence Sloan
Screenplay by Angela Workman
Ronald Bass
Michael K. Ray
Based on Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
by Lisa See
Starring Gianna Jun
Li Bingbing
Vivian Wu
Wu Jiang
Russell Wong
Coco Chiang
Hu Jingyun
Archie Kao
Music by Rachel Portman
Cinematography Richard Wong
Edited by Deirdre Slevin
IDG China Creative Media Limited
Big Feet
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures (US)
Pinnacle Films (Australia)
Release date
  • July 15, 2011 (2011-07-15) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
Country China
United States
Language Mandarin Chinese, English, Korean
Budget $6 million[2]
Box office $11,348,205[2]

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a 2011 historical drama film based on the novel of the same name written by[3] Lisa See. Directed by Wayne Wang, the film stars Gianna Jun, Li Bingbing, Archie Kao, Vivian Wu, and Hugh Jackman.


In nineteenth century China, two girls named Snow Flower (Gianna Jun) and Lily (Li Bing Bing) are forever bonded together as sworn sisters. They are paired as laotong by a matchmaker who is also responsible for arranging their marriages. They are isolated by their families and communicate by writing in a secret sisterly language, Nü shu (a historical practice in China in that period) on a unique Chinese fan that Snow Flower possesses.

Meanwhile, in the present day Shanghai, their descendants Sophia Liao and Nina Wei struggle with the intimacy of their own pure and intense childhood friendship. As teenagers, Sophia and Nina were introduced to the idea of laotong, and they signed a traditional laotong contract on the cover of Canto-pop Faye Wong's album Fu Zao (Restless in English). Faye Wong was their favorite singer and their liberated dancing to the "degenerate" sounds of the cheerful refrain "la cha bor" was one of the reasons Sophia's stepmother attempted to separate them. Eventually they are separated but come together again when Sophia falls into a coma after being struck by a taxi while cycling. Reunited at long last, they must come to understand the story of the strong and close ancestral connection hidden from them in the folds of the antique white silk fan or lose one another forever in the process.



The film was produced by IDG China Media. The filming locations were Hengdian World Studios, Heng Dian, China, and Shanghai, China with many scenes at The Peninsula Hotel on the Bund.


Rupert Murdoch personally arranged for the film to be released by Fox Searchlight Pictures,[5] which opened the film in North America on July 15, 2011.[6]


The film received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 21% approval rating, based on 87 reviews.[7] On Metacritic, it has a score of 42 out of a possible 100, based on 31 reviews.[8]


  1. ^ "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (12A)". Wayne Wang. British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  2. ^ a b Snow Flower and the Secret Fan at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Chauncey Mabe, Correspondent (2011-06-19). "Lisa See: New York Times best-selling author - tribunedigital-sunsentinel". Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  4. ^ "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan cast". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Weekend Box Office: Harry Potter 8 Beats The Dark Knight's Opening Weekend Record UPDATED". Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Moving Pictures Network 'Snow Flower and the Secret Fan' (July 15)". Moving Pictures. May 13, 2011. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 

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