As World War II draws to a close, Shanghai doctor Zhang Zhi Chen (Li Wei) drops in on old friend Dai Li Yan (Shi Yu), a depressive young landowner who lives in the bomb-ravaged provinces with his estranged wife, Yuwen (Wei Wei), and teenage daughter, Xiu (Zhang Hongmei). Unbeknownst to Dai, his wife and Zhang were once lovers, and as they become reacquainted, their former passion begins to rekindle.
Long regarded as one of the finest Chinese films of all time, Fei Mu's "Spring" is subtly acted, serenely photographed, and drenched in a melancholy atmosphere that hauntingly reflects the film's central dilemma: the elusiveness of happiness and the tragic weight of the past. Fei Mu's deliberate camerawork — slow and stately — further enhances the intimate aspect of a forbidden romance that plays out as a silent communion of hands and gestures. Quietly spellbinding, "Spring" tracks the emotional repercussions of a love triangle that can only end in despair.