Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

2011-09-22 15:45
What it's about:

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.

What the critics thought:

"Emphasises melodrama over character development, until the proceedings feel like a rabbit hole of misfortune."
- Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

"For those who may have wondered if foot binding, wife beating and a crooning Hugh Jackman could fit into one movie, here's the short answer: no."
- Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"Perhaps this was intended to draw the largely female crossover audience that went to Joy Luck Club. But the dual stories don't mesh well."
- Claudia Puig, USA Today

A timeless portrait of female friendship.

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