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Shadow of China (1989)

PG-13 | | Drama | 12 May 1990 (Japan)
A Chinese political refugee tries to make his way to the top as a businessman in Hong Kong while his former radicalism is transformed into cynicism. His past comes back to haunt him.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôichi Satô ...
Roland Harrah III ...
Xiao Niu
Lee Hok Chow
Colin George ...
Mr. Lau
Dennis Chan ...
Fredric Mao ...
Chi Fung
Po Kok
Ken Bennett ...
Yukio Yamato ...
Junko Takazawa ...
Phantom Mother


During Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, idealistic anticommunist Henry Wong fled mainland China as a political refugee with his then girlfriend, Moo-Ling. He built himself a new life in Hong Kong and eventually became a slick rich banker with political ambitions. At present, he's having an affair with Katharine, a married Englishwoman, and wants to take over the influential local Chinese-language newspaper in order to try to influence political changes in China. Moo-Ling also lives in Hong Kong, where she works as a nightclub singer. Japanese journalist, Akira, befriends her in order to find out more about Henry's past. Hong Kong is about to become part of China again soon, student demonstrations are erupting in Beijing and Akira is getting closer to the shady truth behind Henry's initial financial success. The future seems uncertain for everyone.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG-13 | See all certifications »





Release Date:

12 May 1990 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

China Shadow  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


First co-production between Japan and the USA entirely financed in Japan. English language directorial debut for Mitsuo Yanagimachi. See more »

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User Reviews

The quest of one's own identity, and meaning of life.
17 August 2000 | by (HK) – See all my reviews

The Director blends philosophy into his own movie. The quest is that what if he is of another race. It is not as superficial as what if I am an American or a Japanese. The exploration here is that Henry has made it all, and he searches for the meaning of life, and he finally goes back to where he comes from, and he is happy with all that. Everything is symbolic in this film. It touches on themes like absurdity of life, the French existentialism, ends with the Oriental ideas, that Henry finally gets a chance to know himself, and what treasure in the materialistic life is greater than knowing thy oneself. If you are searching for something deeper, this will certainly help you to find out more about yourself.

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