As the film's pre-script enlightens us, Children follows the life of George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Davies), a British journalist who steals the identity of a Red Cross worker to sneak into Nanking and get the story and the pictures of the massacres. After being captured, he almost meets the business-end of Tokyo steel before Hansheng (Chow Yun-Fat, not having fun with a mostly-American dialect), a resistance fighter, saves him from the blade. Hansheng sends Hogg off to the titular village, which serves as a sort of city for lost children, held in check by Dr. Pearson (Radha Mitchell), an actual Red Cross medic.
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The film is largely a platform for odd soliloquies from its odd cast members, and even the strangest among them seem to have trouble spouting off their improbable lines. Suzy Amis is particularly awful in one of her first starring roles. You might amuse yourself instead by watching for appearances from Tim Robbins, William S. Burroughs, and a few other notables. Director Michael Almereyda is clearly working on a budget of pennies here, and though he makes the most of it, the movie can't help but look pretty cheap. Characters come and go willy-nilly, the camera doesn't seem to move much, and the film's lame synth-driven music feels more like 1980 instead of 1990.
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