The Princess of Nebraska

by Wayne Wang

The Princess of Nebraska


»The Princess of Nebraska« follows twenty-four hours in the life of Sasha, a young Chinese woman who is four months pregnant through a fling back in Beijing. Interrupting her first year of college in Omaha, Nebraska, she travels to San Francisco to abort the child and confront her lover's male friend. Sasha is pregnant as the result of a one-night stand with Yang, a nan dan, or male actor who plays female roles in the Beijing Opera. Yang also had a liaison in Beijing with Boshen, a white American who was deported back to the United States by the Chinese government for aiding a Western journalist on a story about AIDS. As a result of this scandal, Yang is thrown out of the opera troupe and onto the streets of Beijing, where he now makes a living by hustling. Although Sasha is constantly text-messaging Yang, and Boshen is desperately trying to send him money, Yang has cut off all communications with both former lovers. Sasha first arrives at the Oakland International Airport, where her friend doesn't come to pick her up as promised. She takes the local railway to downtown San Francisco, and there meets Boshen, who is concerned about the fate of the child. She has come to San Francisco ostensibly to get an abortion, but starts to consider the myriad of options available to her in America. Boshen has motives of his own, and wants to convince Sasha to keep the baby and start a three-member family in hopes of baiting Yang to America. San Francisco is a city full of paradoxes. It is poised between the East and the West, male and female, past and future, real and unreal. It is a city infamous for its everchanging morals, and most important for Sasha, its ever-shifting identities. Sasha befriends X, a karaoke bar-hostess who reminds her of Yang. As a romantic tryst progresses, Sasha proposes to X that they travel the world together, but like so many of Sasha's relationships, this one too crumbles in disappointment and despair. Struggling to comprehend the growing life inside her, Sasha's conviction starts to deteriorate, and she embraces an American concept she has just picked up, "moving on." Finally we never see the most important image that Sasha sees: the baby's ultrasound. But clearly it is what propels Sasha to her final decision, whether or not we know what it is. Sasha's unborn baby has taken her on a daring journey from Beijing to the backstreets of America, and the untold sequel to this umbilical film is an American tale of a stranger in a strange land, all promise and potential.


Wayne Wang is a key figure in the development of independent filmmaking, alternating major Hollywood studio films such as »The Joy Luck Club« with smaller, independent work like »Smoke«. Continuing to work in the two different worlds, Wang directed an independent digital film, »The Center of the World«, with Molly Parker and Peter Sarsgaard, followed by Sony/Revolution's hit comedy »Maid in Manhattan« with Jennifer Lopez. His most recent effort, »Because of Winn-Dixie«, based on the children's novel by Kate DiCamilo, opened in 2005. His latest Hollywood film, »Last Holiday«, with Queen Latifah and Gerard Depardieu, was loosely based on a 1950 J.B. Priestly film of the same name.


Ling Li - Sasha
Brian Danforth - Boshen
Pamelyn Chee - X
Patrice Binaisa - James


Director: Wayne Wang
Scriptwriter: Michael Ray
Based on the Short Story by: Yiyun Li
Executive Producers: Yasushi Kotani, Taizo Son, Stephen Gong
Producers: Yukie Kito, Donald Young
Cinematographer: Richard Wong
Editor: Deirdre Slevin
A production of Center of Asian American Media
Presentation by Entertainment Farm

Technical Data

Format: 35 mm / 24fpr / 1:2,35 / Colour / Dolby Digital
Length: 77 Min
Original Language: English, Mandarin

Original title: The Princess of Nebraska


Click here for the »The Princess of Nebraska« artwork


The Princess of Nebraska
The Princess of Nebraska

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