48 user 51 critic

Shower (1999)

Xi zao (original title)
0:53 | Trailer
A young wealthy businessman's icy attitude toward his working-class background is about to thaw as he is forced to reconnect with his elderly father and mentally challenged younger brother, who together run a public bathhouse.


Yang Zhang
17 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Jiayi Du
Zheng Fang Zheng Fang
Bing He Bing He ... He Zeng
Wu Jiang ... Er Ming
Ding Li Ding Li ... Master Lin
Cunxin Pu Cunxin Pu ... Da Ming
Xu Zhu ... Master Liu


Shenzhen businessman, Da Ming, goes home to Beijing when he thinks his father has died. He finds his father hard at work at the family's bathhouse (the false message was a ruse of Da's mentally-handicapped, exuberant brother, Er Ming, to get Da home). Da stays a couple days, observing his father being social director, marriage counselor, and dispute mediator for his customers and a boon companion to Er. Da is caught between worlds: the decaying district of his childhood and the booming south where he now lives with a wife who's not met his family. When Da realizes his father's health is failing and the district is slated for razing, he must take stock of family and future. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »

User Reviews

Another stealth drama?
9 October 2000 | by jonr-3See all my reviews

On the basis of the preview I'd seen, I went to "Shower" expecting a sweet little comedy; what I found was a profoundly touching drama of family life told in some of the most lush photographic images I've ever been privileged to see. In addition, later reflection made me appreciate the abrupt cuts to scenes from the past (in the arid countryside of Northern China, and in the high plain of Tibet): isn't this how memory often works? One moment I'm here, the next I'm in a landscape from the past, just like that....

I would not only strongly recommend this film, I would place it among the two or three finest films I've seen in my 60 years.

By the way, a couple of years ago another Asian "comedy" was released in the United States as "Shall We Dance?" (Japanese). Just as with "Shower," the preview gave not the slightest indication of the depth of that film, which turned out to be a subtle psychological study (albeit chock full of funny moments). Is there a fear, on the part of distributors, of making films appear too "important" or "deep" to appeal to U. S. viewers?

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Official Sites:

Official site




Mandarin | Italian

Release Date:

6 April 2000 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Shower See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,125, 9 July 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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