Julia Nickson (then billed as Julia Nickson-Soul) stars as Nora Lamm, whose childhood was rent asunder when the Japanese invaded Shanghai at the outset of World War II. Recalling these horrific times, Nora remembers the cloistered pre-invasion existence she enjoyed thanks to the prominence of her physician father (played by James Shigeta). The deprivations she experienced at the hands of the invaders are compounded when postwar China is taken over by the Communists. In the early 1960s, Nora escapes to Hong Kong, where she works tirelessly on behalf of basic human rights for those still trapped on the Mainland. China Cry is based on the autobiography by Sung Neng Yee.
This is a riveting drama, driven by strong performances by all the leads, especially by Julia Nickson-Soul, whose character maintains a positive outlook and sense of humor despite being mistreated by the new Communist government. Based on a true story, this story of a Communist regime that oppresses Christians and other common folks hits a nerve with anyone who has ever seen religious or social discrimination. Included in the story is a miracle which saves Nora Lam and a fulfilled promise by God regarding the freedom of her family.
There are scenes of violence in the film, including the pregnant Nor Lam being struck, and a man beaten until blood appears on his face. Although this film is depicted realistically, the violence is not gratuitous, but is seen on-screen enough as to warrant this film being approved for ages twelve and above. Due to the fine direction of the film and its true story, we award this film five doves.