Authentic and enlightening, this multi-dimensional drama begins in 1903, when Lily is 80 years old. It continues on to tell the story of her life from birth, childhood, marriage, and old age. During her lifetime, Lily lives through the reigns of four emperors of the Qing dynasty: Daoguang (1820–1850); Xianfeng (1850–1861); Tongzhi (1861–1875); and Guangxu (1875–1908).
As really narrates, we learn about how she was matched with Snow Flower as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity, at the tender age of seven. 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.
Did you know?
Zhang Ziyi was originally cast as Nina before dropping out of this movie. Li Bingbing signed on to replace her. Read More