Irish Film Institute -EAFFI 2019: THE RIVER



115 mins, Taiwan, 1997, Digital, Subtitled

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Tsai Ming-Liang and Lee Kang-Sheng.

Regarded as one of the greatest films of the 1990s, this is a rare screening of The River’s restored version. Set in Taipei, it is a tense, challenging depiction of city life, dysfunctional families, alienation, and sexual tension.

A young woman working as part of a film crew runs into an old friend, Hsiao-Kang (Lee Kang-Sheng). While hanging around the set, he is asked to play a dead body floating in the polluted Tamsui River. Soon after, Hsiao-Kang develops chronic neck pain. Characterised by slow action and minimal dialogue, the symbolism of water becomes apparent as Hsiao- Kang’s mysterious neck pain is mirrored by a water leak in the bedroom that gradually becomes more serious.

Screening as part of the East Asia Film Festival Ireland 2019, April 11th to 14th. Click for more information.


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