Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (film)

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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
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 Li Bingbing
Jun Ji-hyun
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 dates
  • 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 by the author[3] Lisa See. Directed by Wayne Wang, the film stars Li Bingbing, Jun Ji-hyun, Archie Kao, Vivian Wu, and Hugh Jackman.

Rupert Murdoch personally arranged for the film to be released by Fox Searchlight Pictures,[4] which opened the film in North America on July 15, 2011.[5]


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.


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]


External links[edit]