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This film is about a hyper-vigilant employee of the department of public safety who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.
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For the scene in which Gere's character is intimidated with video of a government execution, the filmmakers used actual execution footage that had been smuggled out of China. See more »
At the very beginning of the film, the little girl looks up at the sky and blocks out the sun with her hand. But it is totally obvious that she is blocking out nothing, for there is no shadow of her hand across her eyes. See more »
When I was a child I would come to this park and play, and my grandmother would tell me why the bamboo was here. She said, it is waiting for the wind to touch it. It is filled with emotion. Listen to the sound, and you can feel that.
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The opening title is first displayed in Chinese "letters" (called hanzi) which then change into English. See more »
For about a dozen years, it was hard to find too many films Richard Gere made which weren't interesting and well-made. This was no exception. Once again, he "delivers the goods" and is involved in an interesting story.
Gere, a follower, I believe, of the Dalai Lama whom the Communists forced out of Tibet, uses this film to get his shots in at his mentor's enemy. Anyone who thinks this is just a coincidence is pretty naive. Nonetheless, the facts support the film's stark, brutal portrayal of Communist China's leadership. At the very least, it shows a regime unwilling to hear both sides of a story. (Hollywood has often given the same treatment to the U.S. government, showing it more often in a corrupt light, which is ludicrous compared to restrictive Communist China.)
Anyway, Gere really dominates this film, being in almost every scene. This is your basic frame-up-then-prove-your-innocence-in-court story. It keeps your attention throughout although I thought the ending was a bit confusing because things happened almost too fast for the viewer to take in. At two hours, the film could have been trimmed a tad but the lulls in here were not much.
Overall, an underrated film and unjustly criticized by the national critics, most of whom don't like it when communism is bashed.
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