15 user 23 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.


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




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


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


Drama | Romance


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Did You Know?


Mandarin Chinese title: Zhiwuyuan. See more »

User Reviews

Exceptionally Poetic Portrayal of the Last Eden of Asia: I love this movie
14 July 2009 | by jkujoSee all my reviews

It is an exquisite work. With an incredible cinematography and both casts are exceptionally well fit for the part they play. It is very hard not to learn to love Mylène Jampanoï who plays Li Min She is an exceptionally precious asset to Asian Love Stories of highly spiritual contents that requires subtle but sublime or even ethereal quality.

Sad and lonely look in her eyes in contrast to such girlish and intimate gaits with energetic down to earth acting makes her endearing image to retain a very special place in every viewer's heart of both genders her muted whispers in search of love can be heard time after times like a poem. It's a hauntingly beautiful story too but very sad and heart breaking with a sudden shocking and apathetic ending for those understands that how much the relationship meant to Li Min, The Conservative society was so unforgiving to them in such a way that the Chinese society could not offer a space for them to survive.

It would surely cause a traumatic sorrow to everyone grew up in Japan to find out Li Min and Chen An were put to death. Only if they had lived in the community knowing the fact that they could have found their perfect paradise in Kyoto Japan and worked together as long as they wanted. It was considered perfectly normal for a couple of court ladies to share a bed room and bath whilst in service to the imperial court.

Japan has a long history of parthenocratie blossomed amongst highly privileged members worked in the court in ancient imperial capital 'Kyoto' from the Hei An Era (meaning Periode for "peace and tranquility" It still continues to be an elegant and definitely most popular and lenient city for female couples. Lush and ancient gardens of average age of 1000 years old. Luscious landscapes and uni-sexed sweet sounding dialect makes it a Heaven for young couple like Li Min and Chen An. Only the requiring for them to become wealthy and affluent was to be born or adapted into a noble family and work for a crowned princess as lady in waiting. There were in fact generous princesses who would accept a pair to be employed at the same time. There is a silk screen painting of a female couple of court ladies on the Great Gojo bridge holding hands in a summer evening watching fire works. Such a scene comes out quite naturally and blends well into this 1200 years old city built around ancient tradition catering to Imperial family, lord chamberlains, lord reagents and court ladies including those who preferred same sex companions.

Relationships amongst Female were not penalised elsewhere in the world either Orient(Japan) or Europe (Sweden) in human history. They have been protected by sovereign monarch since such relationship were more readily blossomed in highly privileged or educated environment such as in and between princess and lady in waiting, court poets, court musicians and likes amongst those who are blessed with exceptional beauty like Li Min (Venus) and An Chen (Diane). When a woman look for a soul of mother in another woman, such bond can grow often stronger than relationship with a male. I as a bystander, can almost visualise their ethereal love precipitate and purify, then crystallise into a precious jewel.

Mylène Jampanoï impresses every viewers with such a captivating screenplay so real and natural She is simply outstanding! Throughout my life, I have never seen a such an exceptionally perfect mixture of both Eastern and Western worlds in any one person to this date. Needless to mention even in 1116 models whom I photographed for Pinup and Calendar market between 1980 and 1994 in San Francisco Bay Area. No one has even come a halfway near to such an incredible perfection in projecting beauties from the both side of worlds with such balance and harmony that I find in this actress. I was so stunned and could not help but repeatedly keep asking myself "What Have I done with my life?" "have I been a blind or sleeping all these years? You have to be very patient and watch the entire length of movie to understand her indispensable assets that are uniquely of her own due to the fact that her incredible beauty comes out to afore from her soul. Look for an intimate smile filled with warmth and bliss in the scene by the temple where she releases 108 doves into the sky with Chen An. Once you discover her inner beauty it is very hard for anyone regardless of gender or age not to love her. Her image will stay behind your eyes for days.

Sadly there is only one Mylène in this entire world of 6 billion people. I am a mixture of oriental and occidental myself but I look more oriental except for my mouth snd nose. In fact I am extremely envious of her parents for being blessed with a daughter with such extraordinary ability, beauty, talents and wisdom. It always has been one of my life long dream to have children with more perfect mixture from the both worlds, I married an American lady of Germanic heritage. But all our children look more like occidental with a long and pointed nose along with turquoise blue eyes not harmoniously blend in with oriental crowds.

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Official Sites:

Europa Corp. [France]


France | Canada



Release Date:

26 April 2006 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

As Filhas do Botânico See more »

Filming Locations:

Hanoi, Vietnam See more »


Box Office


EUR5,300,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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