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Stretching across the canvas of the Sino-Japanese War of the 30s, the subsequent Japanese surrender in 1945, and the onslaught of Communism, this film depicts an ill-fated romance between a talented lady novelist and a Chinese traitor working with the Japanese who fall victim to the mayhem of war and their tragic inability to reconcile political differences. Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Red Dust" tells us the story of writer Shao Hua (Lin Ching Hsia) during the period 1935-1950. And it does it in an excellent way! The story starts from a very personal point of view, by depicting the days when Shao Hua used to write alone, locked up in the attic by her father, then slowly unfolds to the wider reality of a country suffering poverty and persecution, because of the Japanese first, because of the clashes between the nationalists and the communists later. However, it's not a sad movie: Shao Hua has love and friendship to care about (although they do enter in contrast, as she comes in contact both with people working for the Japanese and with "partisans"), and indeed the movie is more of a journey of her heart, as she climbs through the ups and downs of life, with moments of laughter and glee following or giving way to moments of disappointment and insight. Alongside, as she is a writer, we also get to see as the steps of her existence influence the developing of her novel.
This, added to some wonderful movie stills, a pleasant and rich soundtrack, great expressiveness from the two leads Lin Ching Hsia & Maggie Cheung and a careful view on China's historical background, make "Red Dust" a must see! 10/10
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