Film Festival Today

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Women’s Friendship Across Time

Written by: FFT Webmaster | July 12th, 2011

Chinese-American director Wayne Wang’s newest film has strong links to his best known work, THE JOY LUCK CLUB. The film SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN is also adapted from a best-selling novel and also focuses on the strong bonds between female friends.  Based on the novel by Lisa See, the film adaptation presents time-shifting parallel stories between two estranged women in present-day Shanghai and their ancestral counterparts in 19th century rural China. The film is hitting theaters this coming Friday via distributor Fox Searchlight.


In the earlier story, two young girls, Snow Flower and Lily, are matched as laotong (old sames), bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they secretly communicate via a secret language (nu shu), written on the folds of a white silk fan. In the parallel story, two women, Nina and Sophia, struggle to maintain their special friendship amidst the pressures of family, career and the rapid changes of contemporary Shanghai (which represents the evolving values of a modern day China that is growing by leaps and bounds). Drawing from lessons from the past written on the folds of the inherited silk fan, the two women try to unravel the mystery of their eternal connection. 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. The film skillfully parallels the two stories set in different time frames and reveals a universal tale of love, hope and friendship.

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