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The River (1997)

He liu (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 7 August 1997 (Taiwan)
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A young man develops severe neck pain after swimming in a polluted river; his dysfunctional parents are unable to provide any relief for him or themselves.

Director:

Ming-liang Tsai
6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tien Miao ... Father
Kang-sheng Lee ... Hsiao-Kang
Yi-Ching Lu ... Mother (as Hsiao-Ling Lu)
Ann Hui ... Director (as Anne Hui)
Shiang-chyi Chen ... Girl
Chao-jung Chen ... Anonymous Man
Shiao-Lin Lu Shiao-Lin Lu ... Mother's lover (as Long Chang)
Kuei-Mei Yang ... Girl in Hotel
Edit

Storyline

In Taiwan, Xiao-kang, a young man in his early 20s, lives with his parents in near silence. He is plagued by severe neck pain. His father is bedeviled by water first leaking into his bedroom and then flooding the apartment; rain is incessant. Xiao-kang's mother is overcome by sexual longing for her son, sometimes making seemingly incestuous overtures. They try virtually every intervention for Xiao-kang's neck: Western medicine, a chiropractor, acupuncture, an herbal doctor, and a faith healer, Master Liu. Are the family's silent dynamics and Xiao-kang's neck pain connected? And what about the body floating in the Tamsui River: is everything dead? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Taiwan

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

7 August 1997 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

The River See more »

Filming Locations:

Taipei City, Taiwan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The director of the movie in which Xiao-Keng floats in the river is played by real-life Hong Kong director Ann Hui. See more »

Quotes

Girl: Hsiao-kang, I want to go pee. Could you turn off the lights?
[Hsiao-kang turns off the lights]
Girl: The curtains, too.
See more »

Connections

Follows Vive L'Amour (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
the most polished film I have ever seen
22 September 2004 | by prothumiaSee all my reviews

Every second of this film is calculated. Whether it is a shadow crossing a bed or the obstructed view out a doorway. It is an excellent story about taboo and how defilement can exist in many ways. The audience watches as a white-clad, pristine, Taiwanese youth is marred by his immediate environment, a close friend, and then his own family. The director illustrates Tai Pei as a filthy industrial cesspool by concentrating the film's landscape in the inner city.

Besides the subject matter, the director uses agonizing long shots to make the audience uncomfortable. There is no soothing music, only the roar of cars and other urban noise. It left me breathless. The best film I have seen to date.


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