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?
Did You Know?
On the set of Vive L'Amour, whose production immediately preceded The River, star Lee Kang-sheng dealt with chronic neck pains which inspired this film. See more
Hsiao-kang, I want to go pee. Could you turn off the lights?
[Hsiao-kang turns off the lights
The curtains, too.