The White Countess

Air Date: Saturday June 20th, 2009 at 9pm on THIRTEEN

The White Countess (2005) tells the story of a recently blinded retired American diplomat, Todd Jackson (Ralph Fiennes) who takes refuge in the dive bars and taxi dance halls of 1930s Shanghai. While studying the qualities that make these seedy establishments so appealing, Jackson meets a striking dancer, Sofia (Natasha Richardson), a White Russian Countess living in exile. Within a year, the two open a successful establishment with Sofia as the main attraction. But when Sofia’s family leaves for Hong Kong with her daughter and the Japanese invade Shanghai, Jackson’s ideal world begins to fall apart. The retired diplomat finds himself stuck between his life in Shanghai and his commitment to Sofia, who needs his help to reunite with her daughter on the eve of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Directed by James Ivory, The White Countess is a compelling, atmospheric drama set in a world still reeling from World War I and already anticipating more violence. Actors Lee Pace and Lynn Redgrave play supporting roles.

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