Chinese Box is a 1997 movie directed by Wayne Wang and starring Jeremy Irons, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung and Michael Hui.
The movie is set and was made at the time of Hong Kong's handover to the People's Republic of China on June 30, 1997. The film credits Paul Theroux as a source for the story, based on themes he explores in his 1997 novel Kowloon Tong.
The movie unfolds at least nine different stories on very different levels. First, there is John as a reporter, trying to capture the interesting things in daily life of Hong Kong and persuading himself that in this way he gives his life a meaning.
Second, there is Vivian, who is trying to find a balance in life, trying to escape from the underground and forget about her past, but is not allowed to do so because of the prejudices that go back thousands of years in the Chinese society (including Hong Kong).
Third, there is Vivian (still), with a possibility to discard all the problems she has with a simple option of marrying John and going...