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Summer Palace (2006)

Yi He Yuan (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 18 April 2007 (France)
Trailer
1:44 | Trailer

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Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and take a toll on their lives.

Director:

Ye Lou

Writers:

Ye Lou, Yingli Ma | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lei Hao ... Yu Hong
Xiaodong Guo ... Zhou Wei
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Xueyun Bai Xueyun Bai ... Wang Bo
Lin Cui Lin Cui ... Xiao Jun
Yihong Duan Yihong Duan ... Tang Caoshi (as Long Duan)
Yu Hou
Ling Hu Ling Hu ... Li Ti
Chi Le Chi Le ... Woman
Meihuizi Zeng Meihuizi Zeng ... Dongdong
Xianmin Zhang Xianmin Zhang ... Ruo Gu
Edit

Storyline

Country girl Yu Hong leaves her village, her family and her lover to study in Beijing. At university, she discovers an intense world of sexual freedom and forbidden pleasure. Enraptured, compulsive, she falls madly in love with fellow student Zhou Wei. Driven by obsessive passions they can neither understand nor control, their relationship becomes one of dangerous games - betrayals, recriminations, provocations - as all around them, their fellow students begin to demonstrate, demanding democracy and freedom. Protests collapse, and Yu and Zhou lose each other amidst the social chaos and panicked crowds. Zhou Wei is sent to a summer military camp, and on his release moves to Berlin, fleeing both his country and memories of Yu. She finds a job, a lover, but can not forget Zhou. In Germany, social unrest is mounting: calls for freedom, demonstrations for democracy. A familiar story for Zhou. Weary, still haunted by Yu, he returns to China as the Berlin Wall crashes down. He finds her at ... Written by Anon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

China | France

Language:

Mandarin | German

Release Date:

18 April 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Summer Palace See more »

Filming Locations:

China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,649, 20 January 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$62,707, 27 April 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (as Dolby SRD)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In September of 2006, director Lou Ye was barred from making movies for five years because the film incorporated footage of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and wasn't screened for Chinese officials. The Chinese government also demanded that all copies of the film be confiscated. See more »

Goofs

There were no nightclubs or bars in 1980's Beijing such as the ones portrayed in Summer Palace. Despite the presence of a few underground bars in Beijing at that time, it is highly improbably that any university students would patron such establishments. Moreover, those bars did not play American pop music, did not allow dancing, did not stock western liquor, and certainly did not admit foreigners. Any clubs or bars like the ones shown in Summer Palace did not begin appearing in Beijing until the late 1990s and did not gain popularity amongst middle-class college students until after the new millennium. See more »

Quotes

Yu Hong: I want us to break up.
Zhou Wei: Why?
Yu Hong: Because I can't leave you.
See more »

Connections

Features The 400 Blows (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Take My Eyes Of You
Performed by Andy Williams
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing and Fujipacific Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fascinating portrait of modern Chinese youth
6 May 2008 | by blearned-1See all my reviews

I thought this film was a fascinating portrait of Chinese youth and culture, as they struggle through some astoundingly turbulent times. Coming into maturity while defining love, commitment, and one's self is a challenging part of any youth's life, but all the more so as part of a society that is struggling through the same challenges itself. I found interesting analogies of the Chinese village in the character of Yu Huong, and the big city in Zhou Wei. Somewhere around college age, we all attempt to define what is important to us and explore what we can do, can be, and want. Some of that experience is sorting through our history - family, village, cultural - and deciding what we want to carry forward and embrace, and what to rebel against and discard, and I believe that this film paints a lovely, if gritty, portrayal of modern China doing just that. In their dorm rooms, in the bars and restaurants, in their homes, in their hearts. On the one hand, I would have, aesthetically, enjoyed a more sumptuous, smooth production; but that is not modern China. China (what admittedly little of it I've seen) is gritty, sweaty, crowded, noisy, straining, and that's what I see in this film.


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