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Home > Festival Archives > Selections > Fiche Film

FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI

In Competition
Directed by :
HOU Hsiao Hsien 
Country:
TAIWAN, JAPAN
Duration:
124.00 minutes

Synopsis

At the end of the 19th century, Shanghai is divided into several foreign concessions. In the British concession, a number of luxurious "flower houses" are reserved for the male elite of the city. Since Chinese dignitaries are not allowed to frequent brothels, these establishments are the only ones that these men can visit. They form a self-contained world, with its own rites, traditions and even its own language. The men don't only visit the houses to frequent the courtesans but also to dine, smoke opium, play mahjong and relax. The women working there are known as the "flowers of Shanghai".