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The Dragon Is Unreal

September 01, 1985

Cimino's film "Year of the Dragon" and Sheila Benson's review of it, are both travesties of information (" 'Dragon'--A Compelling Look Inside Chinatown," Aug. 16).

Benson implicates her woeful lack of knowledge of any Chinatown by calling the film "part documentary." "Year of the Dragon" is about as much a documentary as is a soft drink commercial.

The real danger in this film is that it reinforces an unrealistic portrayal of people. Film and TV do influence us. If all we see are the Chinese as gangsters, women as victims and policemen as corrupt, we slowly begin to believe it.

Benson's review sadly reinforces the celluloid image as a true one, and as such is an act of irresponsibility. Cimino's films glory in violence, sexism and racism, and show he is a moral coward. He may have guts, but they were used to replace his brains.

MARIKO TSE

Santa Monica

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