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Based on a story by Su Tong (original author of Raise the Red Lantern), this explores the contrasted but linked fates of two Suzhou prostitutes in the years after the communist victory in 1949. Neither adapts to 'New China': one marries a former client, imagining he'll bring back the good times, and the other finds herself pregnant in a Buddhist nunnery. Li's previous films blended spot-on social realism with sharp psychological insights; here she adds a knowingly decadent languor to the mix, producing a Chinese 'women's movie' like no other.

By: TR

Release details

Duration: 119 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Li Shaohong
Screenwriter: Li Shaohong, Ni Zhen
Cast: Wang Ji
Wang Zhiwen
He Saifei
Zhang Liwei
Wang Rouli
Song Xiuling
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