Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Green Lantern 3D

Part of the 21st Century translation of the comic book into 3D action film is the Green Lantern and which not a Lantern as such but a brotherhood of exceptional chosen beings to save the known galaxy from destruction. The brotherhood, the Guardian of the Universe, was formed millions of years before the creation of earth as an intergalactic police force with one individual for each of 3600 sectors. At some point in the past one of the Guardians defeats a rogue member called Parallax and imprisoned the being within a planet. When he is unintentionally freed he commences his revenge, killing Guardians and destroying planets, successfully seeking out the one who imprisoned him and following a battle the Guardian crashes on the planet earth close to where a Test pilot lives and using his ring to find a worthy successor on this planet.

Only beginning to be aware of the power of this ring the pilot finds himself transported across the universe to the base planet of the Guardians where those responsible for the leadership and training cannot understand why he has been chosen and set out to prove he is an inappropriate candidate as the man he replaces was one of their finest. They are successful convincing the individual who returns to earth and his life as a test pilot.

Back home the sub story commences when the creature and his transport is examined at a secret government facility. Unfortunately an aspect of the Parallax has remained and takes over the investigating scientist who has been given the task through the influence of his father hoping his son will begin to show some of the characteristics of himself. Alas the man begins to possess some of the powers of Parallax and uses these telepathic and telekinetic in a negative and destructive away, attempting to kill his father as he leaves by helicopter at a party attended by the Test pilot. The Test pilot is able to stop the helicopter crashing using the power of his ring, saving various guests, including his childhood sweetheart and a fellow Test Pilot. She is able to work out that the man who turns into a Green Lantern is the Test pilot.

The film returns to the main subject back on the base planet when it is earned that the Parallax is using fear to eliminate other Guardians and destroy planet and the suggestion is made to create a counter process which will involved the destruction of earth because of the link with the affected scientist. On earth the Lantern realises that he was chosen by the ring because he is fearless and therefore can counter the destructive force. Using his power and strength he lures Parallax into the gravitational pull of the sun causing the end of the being thus he not only saves earth but the base planet and the Guardian brotherhood. He is recognised as a worth successor to the star performer he replaced. Because the film was not as successful at the box office as expected turning the first film into a trilogy was in doubt but now appears back on the agenda.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Everyman's War Sgt Don Smith

Whereas a great deal is known about Audie Murphy, his wartime exploits and his film career I suspect no one still had heard the name of Sgt Don Smith who is the subject of Everyman’s War and served in the USA 94th Infantry Division. His story is covered by the film title of Everyman’s War. I was not able to substantiate the facts separately from those in the film.

He is portrayed as an ordinary young man who was attracted to a young woman who moved from his home area about the time he was called up as a Private in the Infantry and sent over to Europe via England to take part in the Battle of the Bulge. It is a conventional tale told many times of young men who becomes hardened by the reality of fighting and who suddenly finds themselves in a situation where he is called upon to exercise a significant act of courage which had significant impact on the future lives of his comrades as well as affecting the outcome of an aspect of a battle. In this assistance having been placed in charge of a group asked to take and hold a position having been promoted to Sgt he discovers that the enemy have launched a counter offensive on during sub zero conditions and a blizzard and made his way wounded and unarmed to the local military HQ to warn of the coming attack.

He returns home and decides to follow up the girl he left behind and the film closes with the couple now in the late autumn of their years looking back on their life together and he on his experience still regretting the loss of comrades and that he has become one of the last surviving of those involved. The film was originally released in Spain as Los Héroes de Las Ardenas and is based on a book published and advertised of the site of the 94th regiment.

Galaxy Quest

I enjoyed Galaxy Quest the 1999 comic film about space travel and Television. The film is a parody of Star trek and its fanatical fans. Galaxy Quest was a long standing popular television space drama and two decades after the final performance the stars are still attending conventions. I recently discovered that the biggest Star Trek convention outside the USA is being held at the Excel Stadium with day sessional tickets from £30 to VIP packages at £3000 for the weekend gathering.

At the latest gathering for Galaxy Quest the principal actors are approached by a group of humans to see their space ship unaware it is a real craft and that their hosts are shape shifting aliens taking human form. The group are part of a society that has adopted the morality of the TV series proclaiming the actors as national heroes. It is only when they are transported into space that the actors are old that the group are the last of the population the subject of a genocide by the Saris another alien race who are seeking the Omega 13 a planet destroying device which featured towards the end of the Galaxy Quest series. The Thermians are very trusting people with no concept of acting and are relying on the actors to save their civilization. The saving aspect of the situation is that the creatures have made reality the devices portrayed in the TV Series.

Attempting to escape their pursers their ship is damaged during a minefield and requires new fuel for the reactor and while they are able to locate the material they have no idea how to repair the craft. This is crucial when the Saris capture the craft and set of a self destruct sequence. Fortunately he is able to communicate with an avid series fan in communication with other fans who know everything there is to know about the series and its fictional technologies. With the help of the fans they are able to abort the sequence initiated by the Saris who have captured the craft and becoming the heroes of their series rescues themselves and the remaining Thermians.

What makes the film credible and funny is the super strong cast with Alan Rickman who is the brains of the original series. Sgourney Weaver is another big name who in the series is the communications Officer and computer expert. The actor Tim Allen whose voice was used for Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story plays the Commander of the fictional series. It was all great fun with a multitude of clever references to the TV Space series industry.

Friday, 24 August 2012

40 Guns to Apache Pass (Audie Murphy)

The final round up of films July and August until the bank holiday weekend begins with the last film of the most decorated USA soldier in World War II Audie Murphy. Still a boy when he was sent to Europe for 27 months he was awarded the Medal Honour, the Croix de Guerre, the Legion de Honour, Silver and Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, Presidential Citation and several others. A private soldier in 1942 he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant in 1946 and then to major in the Army Reserves, a rank he retained when he was officially retired in 1969.

Born in 1924 to poor sharecroppers of Irish descent he is one of twelve children who went to work at 14 leaving school when his father abandoned his family. He was responsible for the three youngest children being placed in an orphanage to ensure their care but took direct care again immediately on his discharge from the army in 1945. He suffered depression, insomnia and nightmares from his experiences which led him to campaign for understanding and treatment, especially for those returning from Korea. The effects of war affected his relationship with him married three times and two children.

In addition to his career with over forty films he owned several ranches and wrote country music. He wrote an important biography From Hell to Eternity, staring in the film. His last film 40 Guns to Apache Pass was a standard Western of the era. In this film Murphy plays a hard nosed young commander who beats up a Corporal for stealing water while out on patrol. News reaches the fort Apache Wells that the Apache
s under Cochise are massing and on the war path and heading towards the fort.

The Fort commander has pressed the army for the new repeating riffles and learns that an assignment of forty of these weapons with ammunition is being brought to them but only part way to Apache Pass and Murphy is assigned to take a small group to bring them to the fort. The party includes the man he humiliated who is seeking revenge and two young lads whose father has been killed both inexperienced and one pressurised against his natural instincts into joining up by his elder brother. They are left in charge of the horses while the rest of the team collect the guns during which time the brother is captured and then killed despite pleas for help to the younger brother who afraid lies low.

The guns are collected but the soldier humiliated by Murphy persuades the rest of the group to take the guns and sell them in Mexico. Murphy escapes with his life just. He returns in disgrace to the Fort a failure but then breaks out from being confined in order to locate the guns and rescue the fort.

The coward younger brother turns to help Murphy when he finds that the guns are to be sold for gold to the Apache. Murphy sends the young lad back to the fort with the majority of the weapons for help while he uses some of them to hold off the Apache for as long as possible after tackling the rogue troop. He is rescued and returns to the fort and reinstated. He is also able to keep part of his promise to the sister of the young man to get him home, without revealing what occurred beforehand. Their previously blossoming relationship can now flourish.

Audie Murphy died in a plane crash at the age of 46 in 1971. Two years earlier he had survived a charge of murder with the jury accepting his plea of self defence.


Welcome to the Rileys

James Gandolfini
came to international attention through his award winning role as Tony Soprano in the six season series which Ihave watched with continuous episode showing over the past year. I was therefore interested to see him in the film Welcome to the Rileys which I viewed at the end of July 2012. While he is Tony in several mannerisms and through his bulky being, he plays a very different, interesting and sympathy arousing character who has been unable to have normal marital relations with his wife who has been unable to leave her home since the death of their daughter when only fourteen years or so of age. He consoles himself with a waitress although it is evident they share a bed for a few hours it is not clear they have penetrative sex. He offers to take her on a trip to New Orleans to attend a business convention attending by his business partner/manager. Before this she suddenly dies and this is event which tips over the edge in his grief.

New Orleans before and since Katrina remains a city where men go to conventions and enjoy the drink, the jazz and the sex and in this instance Gandolfini encounters a under age stripper prostitute no more than his daughter, said to be sixteen in the film. For a brief moment I thought this was to turn out another Breezy in which middle aged William Holden picks up and has an affair with a teenage hippie kind of girl. Welcome to the Rileys ( no relation to the Mother Riley films by the way) is a very different film in which Gandolfini follows the girl to where she is living in a slum and offers her $100 a day to live in the same house which he cleans up and escorts her to and from work. He announces he is giving up his business and tells his wife he had decided to stay in New Orleans for a while.

Before leaving on the trip she, played by Kirsten Stewart, discovers the extent of his grief and guilt over the death of his daughter( an without knowing his grief over the death of the waitress) and she determines to leave the house and go to him. He effort to leave the house and get to New Orleans is undertaken with warmth and humour so it is a shock to her when she finds her husband staying with a foul mouthed young whore. The nature of their previous relationship, the shared tragedy and the people they are still leads her to understand what has happened and she too also sees something of their lost daughter in this girl as some of her background is revealed. The three form an unconventional family but the situation does not last and eventually the girl runs off and the couple return to their home and commence to move on in their lives re-engaging with the world. The film ends as the girl contacts them. She is on her way to Los Vegas but James reassures her that she has the love and support of himself and his wife and she should not hesitate to turn to them if need arises.

The film has attracted positive responses with the director awarded a prize at the Sundance Festival. Kristen Stewart best actress at the Milan Festival with James a Best Actor nominee. While the response of critics has been mixed this in my view is best of the July and August bunch.

Across the Line The Exodus of Charlie Wright

I am still not sure what to make of Across the Line the Exodus of Charlie Wright. The Direction of this film is intended for us to have some sympathy for Charlie Wright whose business is revealed as a Ponzi scheme, He is therefore a bad man who causes financial ruin to greedy people. He is assessed as having stolen eleven million dollars. He is pursued by an FBI agent who comes close to capturing him but the man escapes and disappears,

Charley has in fact gone to Tijuana the Mexican Border city in search of the woman he abandoned two decades earlier. He forms a relationship with a lonely whore as she ages and spends her money on expensive formula creams to mask her aging. Charlie lives simply and forming a relationship with the woman he learns that his former love has died but has a daughter who entered the USA illegally. I was confused as whether he manages to locate his daughter and have a conversation with her or has a conversation with someone who knows of his daughter and that she is content.

The story is complicated by a group of Gangsters and another of Mercenaries who seek to kidnap and use Charlie for their own ends. An FBI agent on holiday in the city spots Charlie much to the disbelief of the pursing FBI agent who nevertheless goes to Mexico to check out the sighting. Charlie surrenders himself as a means of escape from his pursuers but is allowed to continue his exile when the FBI learns that Charlie has only a few months to live from cancer and because he provides the information on where the money is deposited. Charlie end his days sitting on a bench by a beach supposedly at peace, although why he should be is not something I understand.


The Fighting Seebees

The other face of the USA is portrayed in the Fighting Seabees with John Wayne playing of his heroic and romantic roles as the tough boss of a construction company contracted to build airstrips in the Pacific for the US Navy during World War II and who is persuaded to head the first Construction battalion after his well intention intervention after some of his men are killed in a Japanese attack results in a military counter offensive plan being wrecked. Susan Hayward plays a war correspondent assigned to cover the activities of the construction unit and provides the romance when she is pursued by the local military commander but has eyes only for Wayne who is not the marrying kind. She nearly dies but ends up with Wayne as the film ends. The second part of the film demonstrates that with military trained the unit plays an important role in the defence of an island leading to the defeat of the enemy. The film also stared William Forrest.

Formosa Betrayed

In the second week of July2012 I experienced a moving film Formosa Betrayed described as a political thriller and which exposes the treatment of the indigenous people of the of the Islands of Taiwan in the South China Sea and which has remained a football between the Communist and anti Communist forces of the mainland.

The factual history of the Island is that following the victory of the Communists on mainland China in 1949 the then government of China moved to Formosa claiming sovereignty over all China and Mongolia establishing in effect a military dictatorship on the country and suppressing the rights and interests of the indigenous people. As with many other people around the world the USA in particular was prepared to tolerate the abuses of human rights, the political imprisonment and the killings because the state was Anti Communist, and other Western nations followed suit. However since the democratisation of the country and the introduction of the freedom of the press, health care and public education as well as economic development which makes the country with a powerful economy and high per capita income, only 22 minor nations and the Vatican state formerly recognise the Government. Of the 22 there are several nations of significance in central and south America including Haiti, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

Portuguese sailors named the Island Formosa, Beautiful Island, in the sixteenth century. It is understood that the forefathers of the indigenous people did originate from China as farmers 2000 BC followed by the Dutch East India Company and the Spanish with the islands subsequently proving a battleground for the French in their war against China. The Japanese moved in in 1894 to 5, The Japanese rule developed the country attempting to assimilate the population in the 1930‘s with the consequence that that tens of thousands of locals served in Japanese Military during World War II and which helped to colour the view of the mainland Chinese subsequently. Japanese bases and industrial centres on Taiwan were the subject of heaving USA bombing.

After the war the mainland power put down resistance from the ingenious people with brutal ferocity with an estimated 18000 to 30000 civilians executed in the educated and management classes. hen the Communists gained ascendancy an estimated 2 million mainlanders, comprising the government and military with families increased the population by a quarter bringing with them gold and art treasures and foreign currency reserves. Martial law was imposed and lasted four decades. An estimated 140000 civilians were executed often tortured for being suspected communist sympathisers although in truth as in all such situations anyone who challenged or criticised officials put themselves and their families at risk. It was not until 2008 that the extent of the horror was admitted and regretted although no compensation, restitution or formal investigation into the crimes has been initiated.

It was not until the deaths of Chiang Kai-shek and his son that an indigenous born subject came to power and progressed democracy and liberalization. The leading coalition party in government agreed that Taiwan should have a separate identity from China but with 64% favouring the status quo with less than 20% seeking full independence and 5% wanting unification.

This then is the background to the 2009 USA film Formosa Betrayed when an FBI agent is sent to Taiwan after a Taiwanese Professor is murdered at University covered by Chicago. In 1981 Professor Chen Wen-Chen of Carnegie Mellon University. He returned to this beloved homeland with his family but was held in custody over his comments about the totalitarian nature of the regime and was found dead without explanation to the cause. In the film the FBI agent is sent to Taiwan and is with a cover story which attempted to link the Professor to criminal gangs responsible for his death.

The FBI agent is treated as an honoured guest but given the run around but with the help of local journalist and others begins to uncover the truth about the nature of the totalitarian state and USA complicity which also involves the Chinese Mafia as well as the Kuomintang. The film also uses the assassination of Journalist Henry Liu in California by Chinese gang members under the direction of the Kuomintang secret service. He had become a naturalised USA citizen.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Behind Enemy Lines

Enemy Lines
and which had a predictable outcome and familiar feel. The film set in Bosnia in 1995 when a USA carrier plane is assigned a Christmas holiday recognisance mission during the ceasefire and a demilitarised zone. The pilot and navigator are ordered on the otherwise routine mission because of their rowdy and anti authority behaviour and because one of the officers has requested to leave the service and become a commercial pilot. When they spot unusual and suspicious activity in the no fly zone they decide to investigate filming with a view to study on return but find themselves shot down on the orders of the local Serbian commander who has been secretly exterminating Muslims using mass graves which the plane has unknowingly filmed.

Because of the truce the Rear Admiral Commanding officer, Gene Hackman is ordered not to use naval helicopters to collect the downed officers and orders them to make their way to safety despite information that they are being hunted by armed forces. One of the officers witnesses the execution of the other who pretended he was the only flier. The reaction of the second officer, albeit at a distance, is sufficient to alert the Serbians who in addition to the regular forces appoint the man who executed the flier to find and execute the other. The second part of the films involves the successful attempt to evade capture which includes hiding himself among bodies in one of the open genocide burial sites. Although prevented from going to rescue the officer Hackman uses satellite surveillance to track the movements and to attempt to persuade the authorities to give permission. Instead of moving to safety the flier decides to return to the crashed aircraft site to retrieve the recordings from the camera located in one of the ejector seats. Hackman also decides to risk his command by taking three helicopters with volunteers to retrieve his man and the film.

Although he has the recordings the officers remains on the scene to await the arrival of the man who executed his navigator and kills him after a hand to hand combat. The Film advises the audience that the Rear Admiral lost his command and retired rather than accept a desk job in Washington. The pilot who had decided to resign his commission elects to remain in the force. This of course is all fiction.

The film has some basis in reality as a USAF Captain Scott Brady was shot down in Bosnia on 2 June 1995 and survived for six days before being extracted (rescued). He commenced legal action because the film was made without his permission and because of the way his character is portrayed. The producers demonstrated that the film was fictional and bore no resemblance to the experience of O’Grady who did not interact with civilians, entered populated areas or flew a plane of the same make. The film was primarily concerned with bringing to attention once more the genocide which the Serbians committed. Two sequels have been made which went straight to DVD and which may appear on TV in due course.

Seeking Justice

Seeking Justice
is also about Revenge, Nicolas Cage is a good English Teacher and husband when his wife on her way home from a concert where she is a musician in the orchestra is attacked in her car and raped. A colleague at work advises that the attacker will be found and brought to justice. Cage is then approached by a stranger who says he is part of an organisation which meters justice to the victims when the system fails. The attacker is known, has raped before and was paroled only weeks before the attack on the wife of Cage. The man offers to arrange justice without his wife having to go through the event again during a trial. The price will be that Cage undertakes a no questions favour later.

Cage agrees and is sent a photo of man when he is killed together the medallion the man had taken from the neck of the wife. The code trigger is used “the hungry rabbit jumps.”

Six months later Cage is asked to follow a woman and her two children to a zoo and report in when she contacts a man. Cage optimistically agrees thinking this is his favour only to find that he is told to follow the man and push him off a walkway to look as an accidental death. He is not prepared to do this and engages the man who he is told is a sex offender. The man is in a state and attacks Cage and in the struggle the man falls despite the attempt of Cage to save him.

Cage is then arrested and taken to a police station where officers are convinced they have the killer of an investigative journalist, the man falling from the walkway. The station Lieutenant insists on interviewing Cage and asks him to complete the sentence “The hungry white rabbit”, and the reply “jumps” and this enables him to leave the station a free man much to horror of the investigating detectives. When he finds that the man who dies is a journalist he attends the memorial services and engages with the man’s colleagues and learns he was investigating a vigilante organisation but that his file on the work has gone missing.

Cage then finds himself under attack from someone who he thwarts and is then killed by a truck as he runs off after disclosing that he was also the subject of vigilante action who required a favour in terms of killing Cage. Cage also goes in search of the work records and discovers a DVD. Meanwhile his wife discovers the medallion in the glove compartment of his car, demands to know what has happened and when he admits the sequence of events she admits she would have behaved in the same way.

In order to make contact with the secret organisation he approaches his colleague at work who first suggested the possibility of the vigilante group and then he attempts to trade the DVD for a security tape which reveals that he did not kill the journalist. This leads to his wife being kidnapped and held hostage in effort to get the tape and also silence the couple. Fortunately with help of the colleagues who loses his life, it is possible for his wife to kill their pursuer and at this point the Lieutenant arrives and tells them to go, saying that from his perspective it looks as if the two men killed each other. Cage is in the clear because he now has the evidence that he did not kill the journalist and decides to provide the evidence of conspiracy disk to someone as the New Orleans Post who I assume is the editor or newsroom chief. He thanks Cage adding The Hungry rabbit jumps revealing that he too is part of the vigilante organisation.


 Columbiana is a girl power action adventure also covering the development of a young woman from childhood into life as an adult but the contrast between the character in 33 Postcards and the girl Catelya could not be greater. She is present when her parents are executed on behalf of a Columbian Drug Baron because they had wanted out and created an information disk having made contact with the USA authorities. She has already been trained to move with amazing dexterity and after stabbing in the hand the man sent to find the info she escapes the gang, gets to the embassy and into the USA where she makes her way to her mother’s family, and who for some inexplicable reason are unknown to the USA authorities, despite the family connection as well as the uncle’s involvement in crime.

The girl has only revenge in mind but is persuaded to get a good education as well as developing martial art skills. We meet her again when she has become a skilled and sophisticated assassin undertaking assignments arranged by her uncle. The problem from the position of her uncle and grandmother is that she has commenced to freelance in a systematic killing of USA drug lord connections, decorating their bodies with the shape of an orchid bearing her name and which is left as a calling card to gain the attention of the drug lord and his henchman she has vowed to kill.

It quickly emerges that the Drug Lord worked for the CIA and now lives under their protection in New Orleans. They attempt to prevent FBI agent James Ross from the info after he works out the connection between 22 killings over the previous four years. He assumes the killer is a male when a criminal is taken to a police station between prisons. He orders a careful study of everyone at the station on the day and this leads to a partial photo of the girl taken at the station as a drunk and released on bail the following morning but where all the information she provided proved false.

Her uncle becomes aware of what is happening when the FBI man releases information about the drawing on the bodies of the particular orchid. And begs her stop fearing for the life of his mother. There are two developments which lead to the finale. First the FBI is able to identify the girl through a series of increasingly unconvincing events. The girl has established a comes and go sexual relationship with an artist without revealing anything of her past and present life. He has become increasingly attached to her and contemplates asking her to marry him, taking a camera photo while she sleeps. He then shows the photo to a friend admitting his passion for her and lack of info. The friend is able to get hold of the phone and sends a copy of the photo to a police woman contact that uses it to search the national database. This alerts the FBI who locates the artist lover and also the home of the girl. She realises her cover has been blown and makes yet another daring and dramatic escape.

The attempt to bring into the open of the Drug Lord also has the undesired effect of his chief assistant torturing and killing her grand mother and uncle in the effort to find her whereabouts. She then captures the FBI man and threatens his family as a means of learning the location of the Drug Lord. The FBI man visits the CIA and amazingly the girl is in a position with a high velocity rifle to force the CIA man to reveal the location of the Drug Lord in exchanging for his life. There are two spectacular and horrific death finale moments. One in which she kills a criminal feeding him to the sharks he keeps as pets and the other when after a prolonged martial arts fight she stabs the chief assistant with the barrel of a gun in the neck and in the second when after killing about a score of his men it appears the Drug Lord has escaped in his large four wheel vehicle and he tells her he will find and kill her, she discloses that her plan is still in being and she orders the two killer dogs she has trained and placed in the vehicle to eat. She goes off to start a new life and with the artist also released without charge there is the prospect of the two getting together again. The film has been vigorously criticised, including for its stereotyping of Columbian culture and is unlikely to sequel given the publicised loss.

33 Postcards

I had intended to finish my Olympic Games 2012 experience with a golden moments review but as the days goes by with a visit to family and to cricket at Nottingham, followed by what should be a fourth successive win in the County Championship I have decided to begin a catch up between now 17.45 August 22nd and September 7th when I return to London for a brief visit to watch a morning swimming event at the Paralympic games

I begin with some films and then some other sport and TV and the hopefully the Golden moments. 33 Postcards was an unexpected and unplanned film viewing joy as the first Australia-China co production directed by Pauline Chan. A Chinese girl in an orphanage has her education sponsored by an Australian who sends her the post cards over a ten year period. When the orphanage is invited to visit Australia and perform with its choir. The girl, now a naive sixteen year old helps train the choir as a conductor, goes on the trip and takes the opportunity to try and locate her sponsor to express her thanks.

She finds that the sponsor is an inmate of a correctional facility have killed a man who was in a building which he set fire with his brother for the insurance on behalf of a local criminal enterprise. With limited English the girl quickly finds herself involved with the gang through the son of a garage owner who she meets collecting loan shark money for the one of the criminal fraternity who is also an inmate in the same institution as her sponsor.

This lad is basically decent despite involvement in aspects of the criminal life of his father, helping to transform stolen cars into new identities as well as the loan sharking collections. He wants a different life going to college to learn to become a cook and first helps the girl to visit the sponsor in prison and then to remain in Australia while she attempts to find a way to help the man who she regards as a father figure as his parole is due. The sponsor at first rejects the girl never imagining that she would find a way to visit Australia and then he finds that she is a way of helping him to come to terms with the crime he committed and assuage the overwhelming sense of guilt. He is helped by the prison counsellor who is impressed that for a decade he had used funds to sponsor the girl and is prepared to arrange for him to help her stay in Australia through placement with foster parents. The authorities want him to provide evidence the crime boss within prison who arranges to beat up and if necessary kill anyway who threatens or fails to provide the money which he requires.

The girl decides to stay in Australian after arrangements are made for her to return to China prematurely because of her attempt to contact her sponsor. She crashes on the sofa of the son of the garage owner and helps to get the stolen cars ready for onward sale without knowing they are stolen. The brother of the sponsor is indebted because he was also a party to the original building burning but was not revealed by the brother who also kept quite about those who had paid him to undertake the crime. The brother is forced to undertake a car theft to help fund his brothers plan to help the girl and the son of the garage owner volunteers to also participate as the way of getting his father to agree to pay for him to go to college. The father also involved the girl as a means of trying to keep control of his son.

The sponsor is given parole and in a panic agrees to give evidence against the prison gang boss in order to obtain immediate release when he hears the girl has become unwittingly involved with the crime gang outside. In the event he and all the parties are arrested and he finds himself back in prison without the promised protection and is stabbed within an inch of his life. He survives and the parole is reinstated when the truth of the situation emerges. The girl decides to return to China and work for the orphanage but having established a more meaningful relationship with the man she regards as her father and she as his daughter. He is able to watch her conduct the choir before returning home with the promise to visit her in China. The film has the accustomed Australian reality edginess with a positive slant on contemporary China which will enable the showing of the film in the mainland. It engaged in part because of its unique subject and strength of the acting.