Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  120 min.
Release Date: July 15, 2011 (limited)
DVD: November 1, 2011

Current rating: Rating: 4.20
based on 20 votes and 4 reviews
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Cast: Gianna Jun, Li Bingbing, Vivian Wu, Jiang Wu, Russell Wong, Coco Chiang, Jingyun Hu, Archie Kao


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.

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. Drawing on the lessons of the past, the two modern women must understand the story of their ancestral connection, hidden from them in the folds of the antique white silk fan, or risk losing one another forever.

What unfolds are two stories, generations apart, but everlasting in their universal notion of love, hope and friendship.

Director: Wayne Wang
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Producer(s): Wendi Murdoch, Florence Sloan
Screenplay: Angela Workman
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  • 4 stars "facinating"
  • 4 stars "The film was good, although not quite as true to the book as I would have liked. A story of the bonds that are forged between women that remain the same over generations."
  • 5 stars "Timeless and touching story, very emotional. Hits you straight to the heart, its so true, one thing that never changes through generations is the deep attachment one has with sisters. Take plenty of tissues when you go watch this wonderful movie. Two thumbs up!"