Restored: Suzhou River 苏州河 (2000)

  • September 8, 2023 | Friday
  • Oldham Theatre
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Celebrating the classics of Asian cinema and beyond, Restored is a regular series showcasing Asian films that have been meticulously preserved and restored by different institutions from across the world. The platform revisits these classics in a new light and allows them to be appreciated by new generations of audiences.



Original title: 苏州河
Year: 2000
Director: Lou Ye
Runtime: 80 minutes
Country: China
Language: Mandarin with English subtitles
Rating: PG


Rotterdam International Film Festival 2000

Viennale 2000

Tokyo FILMeX 2000

Paris Film Festival 2000


Set along the filth and fog of Shanghai’s waterways likened to the River Styx, Lou Ye’s puzzle-like film builds a haunting tale that is equal parts tragic romance, diary-film, film noir and supernatural fantasy. A kaleidoscopic doomed romance begins when a voyeuristic videographer is hired by a nightclub to film a performing mermaid, Meimei (Zhou Xun). As they get closer, a story-within-story unfolds—of romance between motorcycle courier Mardar (Jia Hongsheng), and his boss’ daughter Moudan (Zhou Xun in a dual role). The relationship of Mardar and Moudan evolves into a complex gangster tragedy—told with flashbacks, jolting shifts in dramatic perspective and Mardar’s relentless search for Moudan when she disappears.

Shot on Super 16 film and now in a gorgeously grainy new restoration, this trademark film of the Sixth Generation catapulted Chinese cinema into the next millennium as a rustic, radically sublime take on female duplicity and Hitchcockian obsession. Originally banned for its rebellious spirit—Lou screened it internationally without State permission—Suzhou River still crackles with the same defiant, expressive cinematic fire decades later.


Tickets for Suzhou River are now on sale.

Scroll down to select the screening of your choice and click through to purchase tickets.

Friends of AFA members, please read the membership guide on how to purchase your discounted tickets and redeem your complimentary tickets.

Oldham Theatre’s opening hours

For further assistance, please contact us at ticketing@asianfilmarchive.org 

Important Notice:
Do note that Oldham Theatre does not play ads and screenings will start promptly. Doors will open 20 minutes before showtime, so arrive early to register and find a seat. Arrive early so as not to disrupt the screenings. All patrons are encouraged to purchase your tickets online to be able to secure a seat. If you choose to purchase tickets or merchandise at Oldham Theatre’s box office, cashless payment is preferred.

Concession tickets apply to Students (Local & Overseas), Full-time National Servicemen (NSF), Senior Citizens (55 years and above) only.
Please check film ratings before purchase of tickets. Please note that you may be asked to present your ID at the door (this applies to concession tickets as well). Only physical photographic identification is allowed, digital copies of identification are not allowed. AFA reserves the right to turn away any members of the public without physical photographic identification.
Upon confirmation of your order for Tickets, no exchange of Tickets will be made under any circumstances and Tickets are not transferable. No refund on Tickets will be made under any circumstances except due to cancellation of the event. The resale of Tickets at any price is prohibited.