A film about opening up and the danger of falling in love, about ideals and what violence does to the soul, a film about trust and betrayal. It's based on a novel by Eileen Chang (1920-1995), a wonderful writer with a deep feeling for human psychology.
And again: the costumes... It's settled in China which was turning into a modern, western kind of society. Eileen Chang wrote an interesting article on this subject called "Chinese Life And Fashions" (1943). So everybody is wearing a mixture of chinese and western style clothes. Beautiful embroidered fabrics in a 30's style cut, little european hats and clutches go along with chinese jewelry: a great costume-work.