This contemporary film noir is an international endeavor with key creative forces hailing from China, Germany, and the United States. It is based on the Chinese novel Yoban shi huoyan she hai shu (Fire and Ice) by subversive writer Wang Shuo, who has beencalled a "corruptor of youth" by critics in his native land. German screenwriter/director Peter Sehr fell in love with the novel and chose to adapt it as a film set in New York City. For Sehr, the location best represents a contrast of "people and light"that compliments the film's subject matter, a dark love story between a brilliant biology student and a master swindler. Claire is a good girl living a mundane lifestyle until she meets literature-quoting con man, Jack. Although Jack normally despises relationships, he's attracted to Claire's innocence and allows a romance to blossom. But when a detective begins closing in on a his latest caper, he's forced to give Claire the cold shoulder. Heartbroken, Claire starts down a spiraling road of self-destruction that's often painful to watch. Performance highlights are Adrien Brody as Jack, and Pam Grier in a tough-lady role reminiscent of Jackie Brown.