Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Hou Hsiao-hsien (Goodbye South, Goodbye) directed this Taiwanese-Japanese period drama set in the British section brothels of 19th-century Shanghai. Chu Tien-wen's screenplay was adapted from Han Ziyun's 1894 novel Haishang Huia Liezhuang (Biographies of Flowers of Shanghai), translated from the original dialect to Mandarin during the '30s by Shanghai writer Eileen Chang. Around 1884, during the closing years of Imperial China, Crimson (Japanese actress Michiko Hada) worries that she's about to be dropped by civil servant Wang (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), since he's spending so much time with Jasmin (Wei Hsiao-hui). Emotions escalate when word arrives that Wang will relocate to another post in the Canton province. Shown in competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
brothel, China, civil-servant, gambling, jealousy, prostitute/prostitution, relationship