7.1/10
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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 »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
Chloe Maayan ... 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:

$8,717, 20 January 2008

Gross USA:

$63,045

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$143,027
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

The fashionable clothing worn by characters Yu Hong and Zhou Wei throughout their scenes as university students simply did not exist in China at this time nor for at least another decade. Mainland Chinese students circa the 1980s would have worn nondescript, non-branded attire rather than the high-heels, hipster track suits, designer dresses and sexy lingerie worn by the actors and actresses in Summer Palace. 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

The Flight of the Bumblebee
Written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Courtesy of China Record Company
See more »

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User Reviews

Open Mind to the Movie - Summer Palace
6 May 2007 | by leech_74See all my reviews

Having watched the movie myself and reading some of the comments/reviews with regards to the movie prompted me to post something in fairness to the movie.

I feel that the movie was meant to let audience have a feeling that the leads in the movies are lost. If we were to think of the backdrop of the movie, set in the late 80's, Tiananmen incident, the chant for democracy, all this would have let you understand that the China then was not a China that many could understand.

The China up till the 80s was probably such a controlled and suppressed place to live in, and when these suppressed feelings and emotions were suddenly set free, it was like an explosion. The literature and external factors began influencing the way the people viewed and did things. This could explain the "mindless" love making scenes as the desires to love and to have sex were probably something that was not openly displayed or demonstrated. Freedom is what everyone wants, but the maturity to handle the consequence of the actions brought about by freedom might not be something that everyone can handle.

The movie also explores on people who dare not love. All because they fear losing it. I personally felt the characterization was done quite well, and was aptly shown by the character Yu Hong. Love is not something that can be explained logically or defined in any one way. The insight to the characters views and actions in this movie shows that clearly.

Summer Palace is a movie worth watching, but it might not be a movie that is for everyone. Keep an open mind and try and understand the time and country this movie is set in, you'd probably appreciate the movie much better that way.


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