China Cry: A True Story (1990) Julia Nickson, France Nuyen, James Shigeta, Russell Wong, Philip Tan Movie Review

China Cry: A True Story (1990)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Julia Nickson in China Cry: A True Story (1990)

The Nora Lam Story

Having had a childhood of privilege everything changed for Sung Neng Yee (Julia Nickson) when the war started and the Japanese reached Shanghai. It was not just her circumstances which changed over the coming years as did her beliefs, her feelings as she falls for Lam Cheng Shen (Russell Wong) who she married as well as her political beliefs as she becomes disillusioned with Mao Tze Tung's "new society" as many suffer economically because of it. Between the level of her education, her Christian upbringing in a missionary school as well as her open objections to the "new society" leads to her being singled out for interrogation leading to her ending up in a labour camp.

I will come clean straight away and say I have never heard of Sung Neng Yee or Nora Lam as she is also known. I will also admit that I have no specific interest in the period of China's history which is covered in the movie. That puts me at an automatic disadvantage as it is very clear right from the word go that to really appreciate and understand what foes on in "China Cry" some knowledge is needed to appreciate why Nora's story is important enough to be told. Having said that, it is possible to follow with out prior knowledge and you get to understand what she went through.

But "China Cry" has another issue for me and whilst at times the production impresses it isn't consistent and fluctuates from impressing to be very shaky especially when it comes to some of the acting which has a rushed quality about it.

What this all boils down to is that "China Cry" is a movie for those already aware of Nora Lam's although I would imagine those already in the know may find it not going in to enough depth.