IMDb > Purple Butterfly (2003)
Zi hudie
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Purple Butterfly (2003) More at IMDbPro »Zi hudie (original title)

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Ye Lou (writer)
View company contact information for Purple Butterfly on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 September 2004 (Greece) See more »
Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
War-time intrigue minus the intrigue. See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ziyi Zhang ... Cynthia / Ding Hui (as Zhang Ziyi)

Ye Liu ... Situ (Szeto)
Yuanzheng Feng ... Xie Ming
Tôru Nakamura ... Hidehiko Itami

Bingbing Li ... Tang Yiling
Kin Ei ... Yamamoto

Leni Lan Crazybarby ... A zi (as Lan Yan)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seiichiro Hashimoto (as Sciichiro Hashimoto)

Directed by
Ye Lou 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ye Lou  writer

Produced by
Nai An .... co-executive producer
Alain de la Mata .... executive producer
Ye Lou .... producer
Vincent Maraval .... executive producer
Jean-Louis Piel .... executive producer
Wang Wei .... producer
Zheng Zhong .... co-executive producer
Yongde Zhu .... producer
Wu Zhuo .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Jörg Lemberg 
Cinematography by
Yu Wang 
Film Editing by
Xiaohong Che 
Ye Lou 
Production Design by
Weixin Liu 
Art Direction by
James David Goldmark 
Costume Design by
Weixin Liu 
Production Management
Yongling Wu .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Bing Ren .... assistant director
Lele Xu Le .... second assistant director
Yanjia Zhang .... assistant director
Sound Department
Jiajin Lu .... sound
Other crew
Nairong Ge .... action director
Shaoming Lu .... action director
Min Zhou .... action director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Zi hudie" - China (original title)
See more »
Rated R for strong violence and a scene of sexuality
France:127 min (Cannes Film Festival) | USA:127 min
Sound Mix:

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The Moon Of A Garden BridgeSee more »


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18 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
War-time intrigue minus the intrigue., 31 March 2005
Author: aliasanythingyouwant from United States

There are a few things director Ye Lou likes more than I do: silent, open-mouthed screams, rain and quick dissolves. His movie Purple Butterfly is composed mainly of these things, with glimpses in-between of a story about two lovers caught up in the Japanese occupation of Manchuria during the '30s.

I know what I'm supposed to think of this movie: it's a tone-poem, an evocation of some deeper mood, something running below the surface of the action. But I can't help feeling that the whole exercise would've been more worthwhile had the director demonstrated less ambition and more good old-fashioned story-sense.

There are these two people, one a Chinese woman working for the underground, the other a Japanese fellow toiling for his country's secret-service. We know they're lovers because we see them in bed together, but for at least half the movie, we have no real idea who these people are, what their roles are in the drama that appears to be playing out before us. Now, I'm no dummy, and certainly don't require everything to be spelled-out for me in the dopey terms of most Hollywood movies, but I do appreciate it when the director makes at least a cursory effort at filling me in on the details of the story, like who people are and why I should care about them.

The movie doesn't let you get a food-hold, it's too busy being poetic and rainy and surpassingly glum. This might be all right if the images had some great plastic beauty, but the blue-toned pictures Ye Lou puts in front of us, dissolving from one to the next like he's putting on a museum slide-show of Chinese history, are not exactly the best eye-candy I've seen lately. As an exercise in image and cutting the film is not hall-of-fame material.

The stuff of good cinema is there in Purple Butterfly, but it's buried under too many layers of Cinema.

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