Conflicting Accounts [WHO KILLED VINCENT CHIN?]

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Published on 19 May 1989 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder are back together, playing respectively a blind man and a deaf man who join forces to catch some murderous spies. This tasteless, formulaic, mainly unfunny, but otherwise harmless romp was scripted by five people (Earl Barret, Arne Sultan, Andrew Kurtzman, Eliot Wald, and Wilder) and is served up like meat and potatoes by hack director Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak), apparently following the surefire principle of scanning the market and concluding that the combination of disability (e.g., Rain Man), a buddy-movie plot, and Pryor plus Wilder gives us everything that we could possibly want. With Joan Severance, Kirsten Childs, and Anthony Zerbe. (JR)

Published on 01 May 1989 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Who Killed Vincent Chin?

Christine Choy and Renee Tajima’s 1987 documentary about the 1982 murder of a young Chinese-American engineer by a white autoworker, who thought the engineer was Japanese and who got off virtually scot-free, offers a fascinating and disturbing picture of overlapping concerns: racial attitudes, the auto industry, the media, Asian-Americans, and various legal issues. While the legal questions aren’t treated as thoroughly as one might like, this rapidly cut and provocative piece of investigative journalism never fails to hold interest. 87 min. (JR)

Published on 01 May 1989 in Featured Texts, by admin

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For Queen And Country

Denzel Washington (Cry Freedom) stars in this new British thriller by Martin Stellman about a black veteran who returns from nine years in the British army to encounter poverty and racism in London. A West Indian by birth, he finds that he is unable to renew his passport because of a new law, and a series of other misfortunes and injustices gradually force him against his will into a life of crime. Effective radical agitprop, relentless in its anger, this film is more outspoken about contemporary racism in England than any other feature that comes to mind; the story is structured a bit like a Warner Brothers thriller of the 30s, and the script (by Stellman and Trix Worrell), direction, and performances all give it a powerful impact. With George Baker, Amanda Redman, Dorian Healy, Geff Francis, and Bruce Payne. (JR)

Published on 01 May 1989 in Featured Texts, by admin

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