6.6/10
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16 user 22 critic

The Chinese Botanist's Daughters (2006)

Les filles du botaniste (original title)
At the house of a famous Chinese botanist teacher his daughter and a female intern fall in love with each other - a forbidden love that must be kept secret.

Director:

Sijie Dai
Reviews
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mylène Jampanoï ... Min Li
Xiaoran Li ... An Chen (as Xiao Ran Li)
Dong Fu Lin Dong Fu Lin ... Mr. Chen (as Ling Dong Fu)
Wei-chang Wang Wei-chang Wang ... Dan
Nhu Quynh Nguyen ... La directrice de l'orphelinat
Nguyen Van Quang Nguyen Van Quang ... Maître Wang
Linh Thj Bich Thu Linh Thj Bich Thu ... La femme en cuisine
Thi Xuan Thuc Nguyen Thi Xuan Thuc Nguyen ... La vieille
Phuong-Thanh Phuong-Thanh ... La vendeuse de journaux
Tuo Jilin Tuo Jilin ... Le juge
Dinh Xuang Tung Dinh Xuang Tung ... Policier 1
Le Ba Anh Le Ba Anh ... Policier 2
Vuong Trach Vu Vuong Trach Vu ... Policier 3
Drieu Van Chau Drieu Van Chau ... La serveuse du restaurant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chu Hung Chu Hung ... Man Cage
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Storyline

Min Li, a trainee botanist is taken in by An's father. In such a beautiful, but lonely setting where the two are treated badly by the few men they communicate with, the women form a bond which quickly turns to unspeakable love. In a swirl of forbidden passion, love and opiate-induced intoxication they find themselves confronted with a society who will not accept same-sex love, a crime punishable by death. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Europa Corp. [France]

Country:

France | Canada

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

26 April 2006 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

As Filhas do Botânico See more »

Filming Locations:

Hanoi, Vietnam See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR5,300,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,784,809
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mandarin Chinese title: Zhiwuyuan. See more »

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User Reviews

 
breath taking
18 July 2007 | by dark_willow_7See all my reviews

I stumbled upon this movie last week and just happened to finish it yesterday. Have to say, out of those loud, CGI filled films and those typical LGBT movies i've watched recently, "The Chinese Botanist's daughter" is a pleasant treat.

The story starts with Min Li-a half Chinese half Russian orphan who lives in the post war period of China. She's going to intern for one of the best Chinese botanist there is. And once she arrives she notices that her internship is not going to be easy. The professor is a much perfectionist person with short temper-which would be shorten a lot more when it comes to untraditional behavior. But despite all that, during her stay in the exotic garden, Li finds herself attracted to An-the botanist's daughter. Their bond grows stronger and their love blossoms alongside this beautiful landscape. However things turn ugly when Li has to marry the botanist's son in order to never leave the garden (so she could live with An after her intern ends). And the conservative society has very little place for the both of them.

The story seems solid enough, nothing extremely special or stand out here but it's soft while intense, exotic yet tender, traditional yet manages to has very different feeling. Its visual is absolutely stunning and full of desire. I have seen so many "oriental landscape" embedded films but not many comes close to be this sexy and spiritual. Of course this was filmed in Vietnam and not China but it's hardly an argument here. The director definitely has eyes and heart. The acting flows well, the characters come out quite naturally. The girls really are victims of their times, so it's sadden seeing them trying their best for love and survival. However, even though some scene can be more than cruel or brutal and makes your heart jump, it's strangely up-lifting in the kindest way. Once in a while this movie appears to be a little bit distracting with cut-away scene and long silent moment, but we all have taste and style i guess.

Of course, what's risky about this movie is that it's very cultural oriented. It's not that "if you're not Chinese, you won't understand". Surely one will know that "it was that way at that time in that country" but still, the culture aspect will make one with experience or understanding about China less depress than one who don't. Certain characters might appear two-dimensional and the cruelty shall frustrate the viewers. But it is a quite small factor, and if you're already interested, don't let this stop you watching. This is a great film that actually has style. Even if you're not a fan of LGBT films, The Chinese botanist's daughter has potential to be appealing to open-minded movie lovers. If you're against homosexuality...well, i can't see why you would wandering here and read my comment to this point. I know art can sometimes change the world and people's mind set but i'm not gonna try.


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