Mei (Bai Ling) was an abortionist thriving with China's one-child policy. She performed over 30,000 abortions. Now she lives in Hong Kong...less tolerant of "choice." Now she runs a dumpling shop from her apartment. Her dumplings have rejuvenating power....they bring back youth. Enter Mrs. Li (Miriam Chin Wah Yeung). Li is 40, but her husband desires 20 somethings. She visits Mei and begins a diet of dumplings. What is the secret ingredient? Do I have to tell you? The dumplings work, but as Mrs. Li continues to lose her husband to a masseuse (Pauline Lau), she demands more potent dumplings. Aborted fetuses are hard enough to get, but for a more potent batch, Mei needs a five or six month fetus, birthed live. Be warned, she gets it...and yes we see it. Do we also see the fetus minced up and put into dumplings? Heed my warning from above, this will disturb many of you.
Watching fetuses chopped up for a delicacy is awful enough...but to see Mrs. Li floss the bones out of her teeth after eating...well...never mind. The dumplings work, and Mrs. Li becomes addicted to them. At first, Mrs. Li was sickened by this delicacy, but as she eats more and more, she craves it. As the film opens, watching Mei chop up fetuses from the first trimester is tolerable...they look like shrimp. Eventually we're watching her chop up little people (second trimester fetuses). The depravity of Mrs. Li's transformation is horrific. To make matters worse, there is the last ten minutes of this film. No spoilers here, but the ending is appropriate for this story....and you will gasp. If they're gonna be aborted anyway, what is so wrong with making fetuses into a rejuvenating delicacy? Where have we arrived as a species if we even ask that question?
A statement on China's one child policy? Perhaps. Is Mrs. Li a metaphor for what we all have become? God blesses the age 24 to 52 demographic, all others beware. Heaven help us all if we are not in that demographic. There is also a side story of a 15 year old girl raped by her father. This will end in most gory fashion andh you will see in graphic detail how Mei tries to help the girl. Available on Netflix, made over a decade ago, but ripped out of today's headlines.