In 1880's China, young Lalu is sold into marriage by her impoverished father. Rather than becoming a bride, Lalu ends up in an Idaho gold-mining town, the property of a saloon owner who ... See full summary »
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In 1880's China, young Lalu is sold into marriage by her impoverished father. Rather than becoming a bride, Lalu ends up in an Idaho gold-mining town, the property of a saloon owner who renames her China Polly and plans to sell her as entertainment for the locals. Refusing to become a whore, Lalu ultimately finds her own way in this strange country filled with white demons. Written by
I wish this fantastic film were available on DVD. I own the VHS and find it more compelling with each viewing. Rosalind Chao and Chris Cooper ( who later went on to win an Academy Award) give topnotch performances and make me believe in the power of love and redemption. Their slowly building relationship in a hostile world and its low-key but very powerful denouement is a textbook in fine acting.The historical period has been covered before but never from the point of view of a Chinese immigrant woman. Lalu's courage, strength and intelligence as well as her sensuous exotic beauty are inspirational. As Charlie, Cooper gives a fine portrayal of a decent if flawed man who triumphs in the end. A real classic!
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