THE JOY LUCK CLUB tells the story of two generations of Chinese women and their American daughters. The story begins when June is invited to join the Joy Luck Club, a weekly Mahjong group. She takes her dead mother’s place in the group along with her three “aunties.” The three older women begin to tell her their guarded and hidden secrets, their deep hurts and devastating pasts in a China that maintained a strict religious and caste system which discriminated against women. June acts as a kind of reflector and sounding board as the women seek to unite past with present, Eastern culture with Western culture and try to find a sense of peace and forgiveness from their turbulent pasts. The hopes of the mothers for the daughters they fiercely cherish spreads echoes of love throughout this entire film.
THE JOY LUCK CLUB is truly a rare and epic classic, transcending temporal, cultural and economic birth rights. Each scene ushers the viewer majestically into the hearts and souls of these heroic Chinese women with an ever deeper admiration as their transparent lives unfold before us. The acting is excellent and each scene flawless–together, they build toward an overwhelming emotional climax. However, as might be expected, there is a great deal of violence against women, and there are abusive acts against infants, women and children.
(H, O, L, S, VV, B) 7 obscenities & profanities; brief scene suggesting fornication & adultery; violence against women & those of lower social class along with jarring discrimination of them; abusive acts against infants, women & children; mental & sexual abuse in several scenes; and, one alarming scene when a terribly abused & distraught woman takes the life of her child while bathing him--after years of abuse. These scenes are portrayed in the light of being sinful & terribly taxing & painful for those involved in them. The heroes of this film live in unresolved grief until they reach out & look for true forgiveness & love.