Roter Staub (1990)

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Roter Staub: Directed by Ho Yim. With Brigitte Lin, Han Chin, Maggie Cheung, Josephine Koo. A talented lady novelist falls in love with a Chinese traitor working with the Japanese during the WWII.

“Itu0026#39;s been described as a Chinese u0026#39;Dr. Zhivagou0026#39;, but despite an impressive sweep to the crowd scenes this turbulent, 50-year love story between a single-minded writer and a wartime collaborator might well have been called u0026#39;Red Soapu0026#39;. The romance itself is handled with admirable understatement and delicacy, but everything else about this typically energetic, over-the-top Hong Kong production is larger than life, with performances, photography, and a music score pitched near the threshold of hysteria. Director/co-writer Yim Ho tosses everything together into the slowly boiling pot (including a syrupy love song), and the perhaps too busy scenario gives the film a careless, slapdash look (at one point a crew member fanning artificial snow onto the set is clearly visible in a window reflection). Predictably, it all ends in tears, but the lump-in-the-throat epilogue at least adds a graceful coda to the otherwise overwrought melodrama.”

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