Yihe yuan (Summer Palace)
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Country girl Yu Hong leaves her village to study in Beijing. At university, she falls madly in love with fellow student Zho Wei. Driven by passion that neither can control, their relationship becomes one of dangerous games. All around them, their fellow students begin to demonstrate, demanding democracy and freedom. As the protests collapse, Yu and Zhou lose each other amidst the social chaos and panicked crowds. Zhou Wei is sent to a military camp, and on his release moves to Berlin. Meantime, Yu finds a job and a lover, but can not forget Zhou. In Germany too, social unrest is mounting. A… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Though made in 2006, its American release could not have been better timed."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"I still must recommend Summer Palace, especially for the remarkably strong performance by Hao Lei as Yu Hong, the daughter of a shopkeeper in the provinces."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"The supporting cast is uniformly fine and excels at creating an emotional spectrum appropriate to the wildly variegated tonalities of Summer Palace's very realistic milieu."
‑ Chris Chang, Film Comment Magazine
"It benefits from a riveting performance by newcomer Hao, but the whole is sadly unsatisfying."
‑ Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat
"Mopey-soapy as it sometimes gets, though, this is intelligent, passionate stuff."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"Search out this vivid film in a theater. Don't let the sacrifices he [Director Lou Ye] made be in vain."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Lou Ye's Summer Palace examines youthful idealism and its unhappy aftermath."
‑ A.O. Scott, New York Times
"Now I don't mind movies that have the pace of a snail, but nothing freakin' happens in this movie. Nothing!"
‑ Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine
"It falls apart just when it was starting to pull itself together."
‑ David Cornelius, DVDTalk.com
"Set against the tumultuous year of 1989, this vividly colorful melodrama of Chinese youth's sex and politics links the initimate and personal with the broader social forces in intriguing, fascinating ways."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Like a Tolstoyan epic."
‑ Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly
"In Yu Hong (Hao Lei), the film also has a vibrant heroine."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"It can overwhelm you and puzzle and repel you, sometimes within moments."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"The saying goes "There's a time and a place for everything, and it's called college." Who knew that included actually caring about something?"
‑ Chris Cabin, Filmcritic.com
"Despite its problems, Summer Palace is still a good film thanks to [its] sweep-away moments."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
More reviews for Yihe yuan (Summer Palace) on Rotten Tomatoes