need someone to clear up the confusion over Green Snake and White Snake... just exactly what is their relationship?


The movie is adapted from Lillian Li's novel with the same name, but the characterization of the film is different. In the novel, Green Snake is governed by her own value system. She flirts with White Snake's husband Xu Xian out of jealousy. The tension between the two heroines reflects the sexual politics between women.

In the screen interpretation, White Snake symbolizes humanity. Green Snake acts from impulse and gets herself into deep trouble when she tries to emulate White Snake. She becomes cynical and hypocritical after being alienated from nature. How does one choose between nature and civilization, the human or spiritual? This story reveals the hypocrisy of human beings, which is both inherent in our nature and a product of our moral values.

Human nature is always in conflict with morality. That's why Xu Xian, as an intellectual, embodies the dichotomy between natural instinct and theories about life. Monk Fa Hai personifies the power to repress life and human rights, yet paradoxically, he cannot control his own urges. The tension in their relationships has little to do wth class struggle and arises from the clash of nature and culture.

I hope it helps!


I bought the DVD from Chinatown last year and must have watched it half a dozen times. I love the story, especially after I've managed to sort out the details and plot of the movie

My take on the "moral" of the story is that not all good is good, and not all bad is bad. The sisters, as human manifestation from snakes, are supposedly evil and unnatural. The monk, by virtue of his profession and belief, is supposedly good and benevolent. But the sisters did a lot of good things -- saving the village during the food, shielding the pregnant woman from the rain, etc. and the monk made a lot of bad mistakes -- demolishing the spider spirit years of hard work, killing all the monks in the temple, etc. Basically, it's saying not everyone is what he/she appears to be. Life is not black and white.


The white snake basically meditated for about 1000 years and the green snake only 500. That's why when the green snake drank the realgar wine she turned back to her natural form (realgar is supposed to keep evil away). They weren't "really" sisters I beleive, if my memory didn't fail me. At the beginning of the novel, the white snake stole something very precious from a frog.. a pearl of some kind that contains hundred of years worth of meditation... and they fought before they came down to earth to meet humans. Green snake lost, and decided to follow this "bigger sister" in whatever she does. And the poet's supposed to have saved white snake before. Therefore, she wanted to repay his kindness. All of this is from the book, but I think the movie is really cool too :P


According to the very old version of the chinese folklore, Green is a fish, not a snake, so obviously they are just friends

but you know how close girls can get ...