Our Rating: ★★☆☆☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian content
Short Take: Two Chinese immigrants to Canada work to make a better life. They struggle through relationships with men until they fall into each other’s arms.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1995
Duration: 95 min
Language: Canada/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Yan Cui
Writer: Qi Chang, Yan Cui
Starring: Yan Cui, James Purcell, Diana Peng Tan, Bo Z. Wang

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Chinese ChocolateCamille (writer/director Yan Cui) and Jessie (Diana Peng Tan) arrive in Toronto from China on the same flight, both immigrants looking for a better life in Canada. Strangers, their lives take different turns, but they both find themselves using and being used by men for sex, money and social position.

Camille’s Chinese husband dies, and she marries a ’round eye’ to get her green card with a plan to bring her son and parents to live with her. Her new husband isn’t an innocent himself, as he strikes a business deal with her connections in China. A doctor, Camille’s dream is to open a health center and sell Chinese herbs.

Jessie is a dancer, but without money, she must sleep with various men to survive and keep attending her English language classes. One of the men is more manipulative than she is though, and she is stuck as the mistress of an older but rich Chinese restaurant owner.

Just when Jessie would rather die than continue life as she knows it, it’s Camille who comes to her aid. Both weary of what they’ve been through with the men in their lives, the two women find love in each other’s arms. Lest you think that this is a lesbian romance, this literally occurs with less than two minutes left in the film. After sitting through this very slow paced drama, it’s too little too late. (AB)