Directed by The Joy Luck Club filmmaker Wayne Wang, this long awaited film inspired by the bestselling 2005 novel by Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, starring Li Bing Bing, Gianna Jun and Vivian Wu, will open July 22 at the Edina Cinema.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is set in rural nineteenth century Hunan province, China. Lily and her friend Snow Flower are laotong companions who experience the painful process of foot binding. Once separated into arranged marriages, the isolated wives and mothers continue their match as laotong – or “old sames” – continue 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.
Lily is practical, while Snow Flower attempts to overcome the constrictions on her life. Lily comes from a family of relatively low station, and has married into the most powerful family in the region.
Now known as Lady Lu, she is the region’s most influential woman and a mother to four healthy children. Snow Flower comes from a formerly prosperous family, but is married to a butcher, and is miserable as an abused woman in a tragedy prone family.
The two traverse a tumultuous the 19th century through the reign of four imperial Chinese Emperors and the Taiping Revolution that will change them forever.
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.