Red Dust

Set in China during the Japanese occupation, this 1990 Hong Kong soap about a female novelist’s romance with a collaborator has been likened to Doctor Zhivago, but for me that isn’t necessarily a recommendation; anyway, on the level of plot, the French episode in Hiroshima, mon amour may be a more salient reference point. What keeps this watchable despite the telegraphic, bombastic storytelling is the castespecially the expressive Maggie Cheung as the heroine’s best friendand the artful mise en scene of the underrated Yim Ho (The Day the Sun Turned Cold), who also plays a cameo as Cheung’s political boyfriend. In Cantonese with subtitles. 94 min. (JR)

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