Well, opening today in France, at least. We first told you about Summer Palace, the controversial film from Shanghai-born director Lou Ye, last May. Since then, the director of Weekend Lover (1995), Suzhou River (2000) and Purple Butterfly (2003) has been banned for five years from making films in China for submitting Summer Palace to the Cannes Film Festival before it was approved by government censors. This was Lou Ye’s second ban — Suzhou River got him two years.
Here is a summary of Summer Palace:
A romance takes place against some of the most turbulent events in recent Chinese history in this epic-scale story from filmmaker Lou Ye. Yu Hong (Hao Lei) is a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl who is soon to leave the small border town where she was born and raised to attend college at Beijing University. Shortly before Yu Hong leaves for school, she gives her virginity to her longtime boyfriend, Xiao, and pledges to remain faithful to him. At Beijing University, Yu Hong makes friends with Li Ti (Hu Ling), another girl dealing with a long distance relationship, and meets Zhou Wei (Guo Xiaodong), a handsome student who soon steals her heart. Yu Hong leaves her relationship with Xiao behind to commit herself to Zhao Wei, and she’s swept up by her feelings for him as they embrace the new social and economic freedoms which are being felt on campus …
And then it goes on to talk about certain events that happened between the third and fifth of the month after May in the year before 1990 and how it’s “the first Chinese film to feature full-frontal male and female nudity.”
We have not seen Summer Palace, nor do we know anyone who has — it hasn’t shown up on DVD as far as we know. It has shown at some festivals and apparently has been in limited release in Hong Kong since February 10. Have any readers seen it? Thoughts?
There are a couple reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb that are very mixed.
The video attached to this post is the French trailer for Summer Palace. For those of you at the office, it also includes nudity. Quote in the headline from American Thinker.