Ann Hui's semi-autobiographical film about a troubled mother-daughter relationship opens shakily with scenes set in the London of the late 1960s, but finds its feet as soon as it reaches Hong Kong and sets off for other points East. Hui uses an intricate web of flashbacks to explore the roots of the problem between the two women: the mother turns out to be Japanese, and she had a very hard time when she married into a Chinese family just after the war; the daughter has always considered herself wholly Chinese, and was taught by her grandparents to despise her mother. The complications are explored (and ultimately exorcised) in moving and intelligent scenes that throw light on areas long dark. Very well acted, too, especially by Maggie Cheung as the daughter.
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