Chinese Box

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -3

It's Hong Kong--New Year's Eve, 1996, and there is a lavish celebration among elite Chinese and English businessmen, politicians, and journalists. But, unlike prior New Year's Eve celebrations, there is an unnerving tension in the air. When the clock strikes midnight, it becomes the year British colonial rule over the territory ceases. And six months later, on June 30th, Hong Kong will revert to Chinese control. CHINESE BOX is the tale of two lovers caught in this great cultural upheaval. John (Jeremy Irons) is a British journalist who has lived in Hong Kong for a long time. He is passionately in love with Vivian (Gong Li) the girlfriend of Chang, a Chinese businessman. Vivian is torn between her desire to be Chang's wife and the realization that she will never be an acceptable partner for him because of her past. She must then decide her fate and John must accept his when a catastrophic illness strikes.

CHINESE BOX is deeply depressing, monotonous and at times disturbing. There are many disturbing scenes reflecting the upheaval of China. Suicidal student protestors stage several incidents. One time a student kills himself by putting a gun in his mouth and blowing off his head. Later a student saturates himself with gasoline and lights a match. His charred remains are shown. In addition, prostitutes proposition men and at one club women dance topless and in g-strings. A young street hustler describes how her father used to molest her and of the time a police officer raped her and she cut off his penis. CHINESE BOX is a repulsive film full of obscene language and Chinese mysticism. For example, when John takes a stone and holds it in his hands, blood begins to ooze from his hands into the stone. There are so many things which make this film unacceptable that viewers should definitely avoid it.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Trimark Pictures, 2644 30th St., Santa Monica, CA 90405-3009

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several(6) times - mild 1, moderate 5

Obscene Language: Many (27) times - F-word 19, s-word 4, other 4)

Profanity: Few (3) times - all regular (JC, J, G-d's sake)

Violence: Many times - moderate to severe (students charred body shown after he catches himself on fire, man hit on head with bottle, man kicked in groin, man shoots himself in mouth)

Sex: Twice (unmarried couples in bed, graphic once without nudity)

Nudity: Once (full female breast nudity, women wearing only g-strings); near nudity (women in low cut shirts and dresses near breast nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times - (prostitution, brothel shown, girl describes being molested by father and raped by police officer, crude references to women's breasts and intercourse)

Drugs: Alcohol, smoking

Other: possible Chinese mysticism as blood flows from person to stone and a dead fish's heart still beating; dog chained to tread mill training to fight, live chickens' throats cut

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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