[box cover]

Chinese Box

Director Wayne Wang's interesting docudrama stars Jeremy Irons as a Hong Kong-based British journalist whose life goes into tumult as HK is handed back over to the Chinese government in 1997. Wang and writers Jean-Claude Carriére and Larry Gross have carefully constructed their characters to represent the political territories involved in HK's re-Chinafication and shot the movie in real-time Hong Kong as the change was taking place. This verité approach gives the historical context of Chinese Box a fascinating immediacy matched by its stunning (though somewhat contrived) visuals. Unfortunately, though, the human stories at play here are unconvincing and uninvolving. Also with Gong Li, looking uneasy in her first English speaking role, Maggie Cheung, and Ruben Blades. Famed travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux (The Mosquito Coast) helped with the story. Presented in an unspecified widescreen format, which appears to be 1.66. Textual supplements.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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