Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 雪花秘扇~ Chinese Movies&TV


Today let’s take a brief introduction of a famous Chinese movie named “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, inspired by the namesake novel written by Chinese American writer Lisa See, tells the story of women in a remote area of Hunan Province in the 19th century creating their unique language of communication – Nvshu (literally, women’s script). In the film, Lily and Snow Flower, played by Li Bingbing and Gianna Jun respectively, are a laotong pair (or sworn sisters). They communicate with each other by writing Nvshu script, swearing to keep company and never betray each other.

The Nvshu script in Jiangyong of Hunan Province has entered the public eye through the film Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Because of the application of traditional Chinese folklore elements like “Nvshu script” and “laotong”, the film is labeled as “epic film of folklore” by the producer. Nvshu script was a special communication code developed by women in the remote area of Hunan Province. Some girls developed special relationship with their same-sex confidants; they lived like a spiritual couple, and their friendship could last lifelong. These women wrote Nvshu script on fans or handkerchiefs, writing songs or stories to communicate with and comfort each other. It is said that Nvshu script is the only female language in the world.

In order to write Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, the author Lisa See read through all related academic writings, had an interview with a prestigious expert on Nvshu script, conducted a field investigation to Jiangyong area of Hunan Province, and paid a visit to the eldest inheritor of Nvshu script in the local area – Yang Huanyi. In the film, director Wayner Wang specially invited Nvshu experts to sing works of Nvshu script, which enables the moviegoers to experience the beautiful aria of Nvshu script.


邝丽莎Kuàng Lìshā:an American writer and novelist.
湖南Húnán:a province of the People’s Republic of China, located in the south-central part of the country to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting
女书Nǚshū:literally “women’s writing”, is a syllabic script, a simplification of Chinese characters that was used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County in Hunan province of southern China.

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