Purple Butterfly

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Purple Butterfly ★★★½ Zi Hudie 2003 (R)

Stunning political thriller/noir set in 1930s Shanghai. Zhang stars as Cynthia/ Ding Hui, an operative in the antiJapa nese underground Purple Butterfly. She's a fearless and dedicated patriot driven by the assassination of her brother years be fore. Her past comes to haunt her in the form of former lover Itami (Nakamura), who is now a Japanese agent assigned to bring down Purple Butterfly. Soon enough, the two are caught in a delicate balancing act, struggling between their duty and the love that may still exist between them, while all around them the conflict between Japanese and Chinese threatens not only them but innocent people as well. Director Lou mixes Western noir style with a distinct, dreamlike moodiness that ensnares while shocking with interesting twists in the complex plot. Chinese with English subtitles. 127m/C DVD . Ziyi Zhang, Toru Nakamura, Ye Liu, Yuanzheng Feng; D: Ye Lou; W: Ye Lou; C: Yu Wang; M: Jorg Lemberg.