In the movie, one limitation of Chinese modernization is shown in the problem of language barrier. In one scene, Tao could not speak Russian in the same way that Anna could not speak Chinese, and no matter how much they seemed to understand each other’s emotions, it was not enough. The only thing that they could afford to say was each other’s names and apart from that, they could not say any other word in the other person’s language. When they met in the bathroom, when Anna asked Tao, “How are you? Why are you looking at me like that?” somehow both knew that it was because Anna became a prostitute. Moreover, Tao and Anna simply cried with Tao not even realizing that what Anna meant that time was that she has resigned herself to becoming a prostitute. On the other hand, Tao seemed clueless why such a thing happened. Perhaps too, she was crying out of confusion, because she could not clearly understand why Anna had to become a prostitute. The language barrier between Anna and Tao is somehow reflective of the rather limited context of Chinese modernization. China is modernized but not in terms of language, perhaps in order to prevent communication of important issues between people like Tao and Anna, while at the same time perhaps because China discriminates against foreigners like Anna. However, Anna sees the positive side of this when she told Tao, “We do not speak the same language but we are friends. You are the only friend I have here.” Nevertheless, although friendship abounds between two people of different languages, it is still obviously extremely difficult for each one of them to express their true sentiments to each other, considering that both may think the other may not totally understand her.
In the same scene where Anna had to become a prostitute, it also illustrates the exploitation of both the migrant worker and the theme park employee. In a scene, before both women met in the bathroom, a Chinese man in coat and tie approached Tao just along the hallway at the bar.