Forbidden City, USA (1989)
Critic Reviews for Forbidden City, USA
An illuminating look at the once-famous San Francisco nightclub.
Their recollections are generally light-hearted, but not without a dark strain.
Those who stay with it will be rewarded with a rare slice of life as life used to be, before it got so much better, and so much worse.
Dong's film gracefully shows how one semi-underground club brought all manner of American contradictions to the surface.
It brims over with nostalgia for a more glamorous and innocent show-business era, yet is a commentary on racial stereotyping and on the insidiousness of discrimination.
Dong's juxtaposition of vintage clips and photographs and contemporary interviews with Forbidden City dancers, singers, patrons and employees create a rich portrait of both the club itself and the larger cultural forces that shaped it.
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