Dumplings review

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Originally conceived as one section of a three-part horror omnibus featuring contributions by Takashi Miike and Chan-wook Park, Fruit Chan's grisly yarn is a macabre, black comedy that takes a coded swipe at China's strict birth-control policies. At its dark heart lies Mei (Bai Ling), a beautiful chef who has stumbled upon the secret to eternal youth - fresh aborted foetuses, chopped up and cooked in the succulent sweetmeats of the title.

Jonathan Swift once proposed that Ireland solved its famine by selling its children as food, and there's a similar satirical bent to Chan's look at an actress (Miriam Yeung) whose fear of losing her rich hubby (Tony Leung Ka Fei) makes her Mei's best client. Shame, then, that it's so oppressively nasty, the lack of a presiding moral making it hard to swallow any serious point the director hopes to convey.

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