17 user 15 critic

The Hole (1998)

Dong (original title)
While never-ending rain and a strange disease spread by cockroaches ravage Taiwan, a plumber makes a hole between two apartments and the inhabitants of each form a unique connection, enacted in musical numbers.


Ming-liang Tsai

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7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Kuei-Mei Yang ... The Woman Downstairs
Kang-sheng Lee ... The Man Upstairs
Tien Miao ... A Shopper
Hui-Chin Lin Hui-Chin Lin ... A Neighbor
Hsiang-Chu Tong Hsiang-Chu Tong ... The Plumber
Kun-huei Lin Kun-huei Lin ... The Kid
Shiang-chyi Chen ... (voice)
Daphne Han Daphne Han ... (voice)
Bo-Chin Wei Bo-Chin Wei ... (voice)
Jacques Picoux ... (voice)
Chih-yen Yee Chih-yen Yee ... (voice)
Yi-Ching Lu ... (voice) (as Hsiao-Ling Lu)


A strange disease starts to affect people in Taiwan just before the year 2000. The authorities order everyone to evacuate, but some tenants of an apartment building stay put, including a shop owner who lives by himself. One day, a plumber goes to the shop owner's apartment to check the pipes. The plumber drills a small hole in the floor, which comes down through the ceiling of another apartment. The hole never gets repaired, and this leads to some tension between the shop owner and the woman who lives below him. Written by Patrick Lin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A search for intimacy in a world of disaster.


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Taiwan | France



Release Date:

24 March 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hole See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Woman Downstairs: Are you the tenant of apartment number 804? I'm your downstairs neighbor. The plumber will come and fix the hole this afternoon. Will you be home then?
The Man Upstairs: Maybe.
The Woman Downstairs: You have to. Or else it'll never get fixed.
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Referenced in Silent Hill 4: The Room (2004) See more »


Bu guan ni shi shei
Performed by Grace Chang
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User Reviews

More difficult than "Vive L'amour," but also more complex
7 January 2001 | by Zach CampbellSee all my reviews

It's less visceral than the only other Tsai film I've seen ("Vive L'amour"), but the idea of doorways (holes) into others' emotions and existences is vividly portrayed here, as Tsai sets up long shot after long shot, usually with long takes, suggesting a sense of alienation in Taipei. The musical interludes, inspired by Grace Chang, are perplexing but welcome mile-markers that add new dimensions to the slowly evolving relationship between the young man upstairs and the woman downstairs. It's not necessarily an easy film to watch (although it's not heavy-handed by any means), so I'd warn any casual viewers who are looking for some "indie" entertainment (like Tarantino or Guy Ritchie). But if you'd like to know something about isolation among city-dwellers in Taiwan, and something more universal about city alienation and romantic yearning, then watch this film immediately.

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