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THE RIVER

Hsiao-kang shares an apartment in Taipei with his parents, but the three rarely speak to one another and lead very separate lives.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2003 11:48 IST
PTI

THE RIVER
Original Title:He Liu
Taiwan 1997
Director: Tsai Ming-Liang

Hsiao-kang shares an apartment in Taipei with his parents, but the three rarely speak to one another and lead very separate lives. His mother works in a restaurant and has an unsatisfactory affair.

Hsiao-kang himself is drifting through life without a job. The father, retired, pursues a solitary quest for illicit pleasures in the city’s gay saunas. Working as an extra in a film Hsiao-kang plays the part of a body floating in a heavily polluted river.

Since then, a pain in his neck troubles him, and visits to healers bring no relief. The pain worsens and dominates his life. Desperate to be cured, he goes in search of a faith healer with his father. While waiting in a seedy hotel room for advice from the healer, the father gets bored and decides to visit a local men’s sauna....

Screenplay:
Tsai Ming-liang, Yang Bi-ying, Tsai Yi-chun

Cinematography:
Lao Peng-jung

Editing:

Chen Sheng-chang

Principal cast:

Lee Kang-sheng, Miao Tien, Lu Hsiao—ling, Chen Shiang-chyi, Chang Long,
Anne Hui

Production details: 35mm / colour / 115 mins

Director's bio-note:
Tsai Ming-liang was born in Malaysia in 1957. He went to Taiwan in 1977 and graduated from the drama department of Chinese Cultural University in 1981. While working for the theatre, he started writing screenplays and became one of Taiwan’s most promising writers and TV drama directors.

His directorial debut was a study of despondent urban youth, Rebels of the Neon God (1992) Vive l’Amour (1994), his second films, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

In 1994 Tsai returned to theatre and directed a new play, Apartment Romance. He also shot a documentary, My New Friends, on the HIV-infected.