6.7/10
158
1 user 11 critic

Ice Poison (2014)

Bing du (original title)
In Burma-China border, a homecoming woman and a motorcycle driver turn to Crystal Meth to escape crushing poverty and boredom.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Nabat (2014)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An elderly couple confront the ravages of war in their poverty-stricken village.

Director: Elchin Musaoglu
Stars: Fatemah Motamed-Aria, Vidadi Aliyev, Sabir Mammadov
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

They live in an old house on the fringe of Taipei City: Rat and his elder gay brother Shanghe. Two brothers look for jobs to survive while search for themselves and long for a foothold in ... See full summary »

Director: Tso-chi Chang
Stars: Hong-Chi Lee, Jen-Shuo Cheng, Shang-Ho Huang
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dog, an ex-militiaman granted amnesty by the Peruvian government, is now a killer for hire. One of his missions leads him to a Christian church where he meets Milagros, an adolescent ... See full summary »

Directors: Bacha Caravedo, Chinón Higashionna
Stars: Carlos Alcántara, Reynaldo Arenas, Ramón García
Blind Massage (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A drama centered around the employees of a Nanjing massage parlor who share a common trait: they are all blind.

Director: Ye Lou
Stars: Xiaodong Guo, Mu Huaipeng, Lu Huang
Poor Folk (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Arranged by a smuggling syndicate, A-Hong and his young teen sister along with a group of Burmese youngsters sneak across the Myanmar/Thailand border and arrive in a remote town called ... See full summary »

Director: Midi Z
Stars: Shin-Hong Wang, Ke-Xi Wu, De-Fu Zhao
City of Jade (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In the war-torn Kachin State in Myanmar, waves of poor workers flock to dig for jade, dreaming of getting rich overnight. The director, Midi Z, is the protagonist's youngest brother. Midi ... See full summary »

Director: Midi Z
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Midi Z
Stars: Jiun Lu, Shin-Hong Wang
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Vimukthi Jayasundara
Stars: Kaushalaya Fernando, Nilupili Jayawardena, Hemasiri Liyanage
Stray Dogs (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An alcoholic man and his two young children barely survive in Taipei. They cross path with a lonely grocery clerk who might help them make a better life.

Director: Ming-liang Tsai
Stars: Kang-sheng Lee, Kuei-Mei Yang, Yi-Ching Lu
Marafon (2013)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Karen Oganesyan
Stars: Aleh Neliubin, Mikhail Porechenkov, Sergey Gazarov
Class Enemy (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Relations between the students and the new teacher of German are extremely tense. When one female student commits suicide, her schoolmates blame the teacher for her death. An awareness that... See full summary »

Director: Rok Bicek
Stars: Igor Samobor, Natasa Barbara Gracner, Tjasa Zeleznik
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A widow and her father live alone and make a living by mending oil lamps and making charcoal.

Director: Panahbarkhoda Rezaee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Shin-Hong Wang
...
(as Ke-Hsi Wu)
Edit

Storyline

In Burma-China border, a homecoming woman and a motorcycle driver turn to Crystal Meth to escape crushing poverty and boredom.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Release Date:

18 July 2014 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Ice Poison  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Taiwan to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015. See more »

Connections

Referenced in City of Jade (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Engaging story with both regional specificity and universal thematic resonance
19 April 2014 | by (Jamaica) – See all my reviews

'Ice Poison' is the latest film by Burmese director Midi Z. Featuring a cast of relative unknowns, this socially conscious drama maintains a remarkable feeling of authenticity from start to finish. At the heart of the story is a pair of individuals trying to make ends meet in the tough environs of rural Burma, with the dangerous (but enticing) city looming in the distance.

The film begins on a farm, with a farmer and his son harvesting their latest crop. After this latest haul, they discuss the challenges associated with their profession, which is no longer as profitable as it once was. They decide to explore other options and upon conversations with other farmers in the village, they decide that the son must start a scooter taxi service. This city-bound service promises greater income but it also comes at a price. As the elder villagers are fully aware, the city is filled with vice (particularly drugs like crystal meth) that often end up attracting the youth. As such, the son is warned to stay away from these distractions. Unfortunately, he's eventually lured into the drug trade (and consumption) after his taxi service proves unsuccessful.

From the onset, it's clear that the director is going for a docudrama feel with this film. The first act involves many lengthy conversations between the villagers, delivered in a relaxed everyday tone. There's no actorly expressiveness or showmanship, far removed from the usual expectations of "performance". Likewise, the direction and cinematography is purposefully drab, conveying the routine banality of the setting. As a result, these traits manage to simultaneously work to the film's benefit and detriment.

Working in the film's favour for example, is the fascinating plot that follows the son's exploits with the other main protagonist - a young woman who he transports home for her grandfather's funeral. Both of them are disenchanted with their lives and decide to strike up a partnership to sell crystal meth (the "ice poison" in the film's title) throughout the city. With his taxi service, they have a ready delivery system on hand, while her worldly experience (she has just returned from living in China) proves useful in the marketplace. It's a classic situation of a convenient buddy alliance, but it never feels contrived. Indeed, the tone that film establishes suggests that such partnerships could almost be commonplace in this world. The boredom displayed (half-hearted karaoke scenes are the film's only moments of genuine levity) would certainly drive anyone mad.

This authentic boredom is also the source of some of the film's main issues. The dull visuals and slow plotting are impressively devoid of artifice, but it also strains the audience interest. Even the most emotionally heightened scenes (the grandfather's funeral for example) are played with such a matter-of-fact attitude that it limits the film's dramatic power. The lead actor's placid acting doesn't help either.

Reflecting on the overall achievement however, Midi Z. successfully accomplishes his goals(portraying these people and their world with honesty and truth), cinematic flare be damned. The style may prove tedious at times, but the plot has enough depth in content and theme to reward those willing to go along for the ride. For me, I found it to be an engaging exploration of the ideals of "The American Dream". As such, its themes are both region-specific and universal. Evidently, anywhere you go, you'll find that the struggle is real.

Film Actually (http://www.film-actually.com/)


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Ice Poison (2014) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page