6.2/10
1,163
24 user 26 critic

Purple Butterfly (2003)

Zi hu die (original title)
Cynthia is a young Chinese woman in love with Itami, a Japanese man about to be sent home for military service.

Director:

Ye Lou

Writer:

Ye Lou
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ziyi Zhang ... Cynthia / Ding Hui (as Zhang Ziyi)
Ye Liu ... Situ (Szeto)
Yuanzheng Feng Yuanzheng Feng ... Xie Ming
Tôru Nakamura ... Hidehiko Itami
Bingbing Li ... Tang Yiling
Kin Ei Kin Ei ... Yamamoto
Leni Lan Crazybarby Leni Lan Crazybarby ... A zi (as Lan Yan)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seiichiro Hashimoto Seiichiro Hashimoto ... (as Sciichiro Hashimoto)
Felicia Pullam Felicia Pullam ... Russian Prostitute (as Fellicia Pullam)
Cheryl Xie ... (as Li Xie)
Anlian Yao
Learn more

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Storyline

Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a secret police unit tasked with dismantling Purple Butterfly. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Hidehiko Itami: Yamamoto isn't coming. He's dead. Your mission is accomplished.
Hidehiko Itami: Xie Ming won't be coming either. He's dead too. I did my job as well.
Hidehiko Itami: We can go to Tokyo now. We've won, Cynthia.
See more »

Soundtracks

Could Not Get Your Love
Written by Yao Min (composition), Yan Kuan & Su Wong (lyrics)
Performed by Yao Li
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing Hong Kong
See more »

User Reviews

 
'Difficult' but extremely rewarding
2 September 2018 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Sixth Generation Chinese director Ye Lou's visually stunning revolutionary romance "Purple Butterfly" is set in Japanese occupied Manchuria in the 1930's and for the first 45 minutes or so you may find it impossible to figure out who's who or what's going on, (I certainly did). Lou uses hand-held cameras to dizzying effect and shoots mostly in various shades of blue and with an awful lot of rain. What is clear is there is an underground organization, (the Purple Butterfly), dedicated to fighting the Japanese and that there's a traitor in their midst. Otherwise the plot is reasonably complex and the time structure not always clear while a case of mistaken identity does little to help. Nevertheless, trying to put the pieces together in some kind of logical order turns out to be hugely rewarding and, as I've said, it's visually magnificent with superb performances from the entire cast. Inevitably it will remind you of the cinema of Kar-Wai Wong but Ye Lou remains his own man and even if you need to see this a couple of times to 'get it' it will be time well spent.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

China | France

Language:

Mandarin | Japanese | Vietnamese

Release Date:

17 September 2004 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

紫蝴蝶 See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,970, 28 November 2004

Gross USA:

$17,790

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,790
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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