Russian Countess Sofia Belinskya remembers old times of opulence and fancy dance parties, while she’s living exiled in Shanghai, during the 1930s. Now, she has a poor life with her daughter Katya and her husband’s family. The Countess works as a hostess and companion lady in a dance club, where she entertains all kinds of men, dancing with them and having a chat. There, she comes to know an American diplomat, Todd Jackson, a nice, kind man with whom she begins a friendship, despite the fact that Jackson is blind. Meanwhile, Jackson meets there a friendly Japanese diplomat, Matsuda, and they become friends. Years later, Jackson sets up a glamorous club, called “The White Countess”, taking Sofia with him to work there as a companion lady. But Sofia doesn’t want Katya to find out about her real work, protecting the girl from following in her foot steps in the future. Between Jackson and Sofia exists a special attraction, which could turn into love at any moment. But Jackson is being tortured by a traumatic event from the past, while Sofia is longing for leave the city. The Japanese invasion takes place and threatens their dreams and longings. – IMDb
Thanks to the content of his films, American director James Ivory has spent much of his long career being mistaken for an Englishman. Few filmmakers have been more closely associated with a particular type of genre than Ivory and his longtime collaborator, producer Ismail Merchant. The very mention of the hyphenate Merchant-Ivory effortlessly conjures up heavily stylized images of Edwardian England, replete with stiff upper lips, effete aristocrats, and young women confined by both corsets and repressed desire. However, although much of Ivory’s reputation has been built on his E.M. Forster-adapted period dramas, he has also earned considerable respect for the insightful examinations on the interplay of different cultures inherent in almost all of his work — particularly his earlier films about India — and his and Merchant’s ability to make quality films on a minimal budget.
Born in Berkeley, California, on June 7, 1928, Ivory grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his father… read more