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The Chinese Botanist’s Daughters (Les filles du botaniste chinois)

Synopsis 17
DIRECTOR: Sijie Dai
France/Canada 2006 105min

JHB Sat 5th / 8.45pm Tue 8th / 9.15pm
CT Fri 11th / 6.15pm Sat 19th / 6.45pm

This award-winning film is based on a true story. The filmmakers were refused permission to film in China and so shot in Vietnam instead, and the film is banned in China. Dai’s film is the dramatic, lush tale of forbidden love in 1980s China. On a tiny remote island in the north, Chen, an old-fashioned, unforgiving botanist lives with An, his daughter. When feisty half-Russian Mi Ling enters their world as the professor’s intern, the ordered ways of things start to change, most notably for An who begins to question her servile life. Chen who, fearing their growing attraction and seeing his privilege drain away, recruits his own son to change the course of events, a ploy that suits the women – temporarily. An unabashedly romantic film, it’ll appeal to lovers of grandeur as well as exquisitely detailed, symbolic Eastern filmmaking. In Mandarin, with English subtitles.

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Awards 08

  • Montréal World Film Festival:
  • Toronto Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival:
    • Best Canadian Film or Video (Sijie Dai, won)

Links 12B-25A