Suzhou River

  • 83'
  • China
  • 2000
The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the Suzhou, shows the river as a Chinese Styx, in which forgotten stories and mysteries come together. Marda, a motorcycle courier in his mid-twenties, rides all over the city with all kinds of packages for his clients. He knows every inch and is successful thanks to the fact that he never asks questions. One day he is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to deliver his sixteen-year-old daughter, Moudan, to her aunt. Marda and Moudan grow fond of each other. But their tender happiness is disrupted when Moudan thinks that Marda has kidnapped her for a ransom. She is so disappointed in him that she jumps off the bridge into the Suzhou River. Marda is now suspected of murder. When a couple of years later he comes out of jail, he meets the dancer Meimei, an alter-ego of Moudan, and becomes fascinated by her. In Suzhou River, Lou Ye movingly portrays the 'testimonies' of the river, without using special lenses, filters or tripod. In a restless style with a continually seeking camera Lou Ye captures the mood of a young generation, far from the tourist image of China. Shanghai, a city filled with reflective skyscrapers, is grubby, full of traffic jams and neon-lit streets here.
Lou Ye
World premiere
Countries of production
China, Germany
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2000
International title
Suzhou He
Coproduction Office, Philippe Bober, Essential Filmproduktion, Nai An
Coproduction Office
Lou Ye
Wang Yu
Karl Riedl
Zhou Xun, Zhou Xun, Nai An
Local Distributor
Contact Film