China, 2006, 140 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: France
Genre/Subjects: Asian, Coming of Age, Drama, Erotic, Foreign, Historic, Political, Social Issues
Language: Mandarin English Sub-Titles
Ends Thursday, Feb 7th!
Lou Ye’s controversial Summer Palace is the story of young lovers whose relationship plays out against the movement for political reform, its violent suppression and the years of disillusionment that follow. After his film world premiered in the Cannes Film Festival’s competition, Lou Ye was banned from filmmaking for five years by Chinese authorities.
Beautiful country girl Yu Hong (Hao Lei) leaves her village, family and lover to study at Peking University, where she discovers a world of sexual freedom. When she falls in love with fellow student Zhou Wei (Guo Xiaodong), their relationship, driven by passions neither one can understand nor control, becomes one of dangerous games - betrayals, recriminations, provocations - as all around them, students begin to demonstrate, demanding freedom and democracy.
As the protests collapse, Yu and Zhou lose each other amidst the social chaos and panicked crowds. Zhou is sent to a summer military camp, and moves to Berlin upon his release, fleeing his country and memories of Yu. In Germany, social unrest is mounting too; as the Berlin wall crashes down, Zhou, weary and still haunted by Yu, returns to China and finds her living in a small town. With their uncertain future stretched out before them, they are two changed souls in a changed world. Will they survive together or alone?
In his ravishingly shot Summer Palace, acclaimed “Six th Generation” writer-director director Lou Ye (Suzhou River, Purple Butterfly) reveals a portrait of a place and generation - China and liberated Chinese youth - as never seen before in the West. Lyrical and brutal, elusive and explicit, elegiac and erotic, Summer Palace depicts a passionate love story and the struggle for personal liberty jeopardized by history and fate.
DIRECTOR: Lou Ye
US Distributor: Palm Pictures
Official Film Website