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The Day the Sun Turned Cold

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A remarkably effective and provocative contemporary Chinese melodrama (1994), based on a recent murder case in mainland China (where much of the movie was filmed), and written and directed by the talented Cantonese filmmaker Yim Ho (Homecoming, King of Chess). Told mainly in flashbacks, the story describes what happens when a worker in his 20s turns up at a police station to report that his mother murdered his father ten years earlier. No psychological ramification of the case is overlooked, and Yim's mise en scene keeps the action suspenseful and emotionally potent. This was last year's Hong Kong entry for the Academy Award for best foreign film, and it's certainly better than any recent American psychological thriller that comes to mind (though the neglected Dolores Claiborne might give it a run for its money). With Siqin Gowa, Tuo Zhong Hua, and Wai Zhi. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, August 19, 4:00, 443-3737.

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