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Withered in a Blooming Season

Cui Zien

Release year: 2006

Run time: 90 min

Film type: Fiction


Xiao Feng and Wenwen are twin brother and sister. They have always kept their childhood habits: wearing the same clothes, sleeping in the same room, going to the same school—they live like each other’s shadow. This summer, however, Wenwen starts to wear different clothes from Xiao Feng and also insists on staying in a separate room from her brother. Xiao Feng cannot get accustomed to this. To him, breaking these habits is like “weaning”. Every night, he sneaks back into their old room. Wenwen’s dating with Xiao Jun is spotted by Xiao Feng. To split them up, Xiao Feng attempts to find a “good man” for Wenwen. His first choice is their close friend Lele. However, Xiao Feng doesn’t realize that it is he himself whom Lele really cares about. After the shocking discovery of Xiao Jun’s affair with her mother, the heart-broken Wenwen puts on her old clothes and tries to resume her past life with Xiao Feng, only to find out that Xiao Feng has slept with Lele.


Director biography

Cui Zi’en (born Heilongjiang, 1958) is a film director, essayist, and novelist. He became known in the 1990s as an outspoken queer activist. He is known as an avant-garde underground director in China. His notable films about homosexuality include the documentary Queer China, Comrade China (2009), which deals with changes in Chinese LGBT culture over the last 30 years. He has written books on theory and criticism as well as publishing nine novels in China and Hong Kong, one of which, Uncle’s Past, won the 2001 Radio Literature Award in Germany. He also taught at the Beijing Film Academy.