16 user 54 critic

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (2006)

Hei yan quan (original title)
A day laborer is badly beaten, and a young man nurses him back to health.


Ming-liang Tsai


Ming-liang Tsai

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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kang-sheng Lee ... Hsiao-Kang
Shiang-chyi Chen ... Coffee-shop Waitress
Norman Atun Norman Atun ... Rawang
Pearlly Chua Pearlly Chua ... Coffee-Shop Boss
Lee-Lin Liew Lee-Lin Liew ... Coffee-Shop Tea Maker
Leonard Tee Leonard Tee ... Light Seller
Su-Yee Toh Su-Yee Toh ... Boss's Second Son (as Samantha Toh Su-Yee)
Kok-Fai Chiew Kok-Fai Chiew ... Boss's Grandson
Rong-Sin Chan Rong-Sin Chan ... Estate Agent
Kok-Choy Loh Kok-Choy Loh ... Financier
Shiva Shiva ... Indian worker
Mohammad Rani Bin Baker Mohammad Rani Bin Baker ... Magician
Rusli Bin Abdul Rahim Rusli Bin Abdul Rahim ... Hooligan
Azman Hassan Azman Hassan ... Hooligan (as Azman Bin Muhammad Hasan)
Hariry Jalil Hariry Jalil ... Hooligan (as Muhammad Hariry Abdul Jalil)


Forest fires burn in Sumatra; a smoke covers Kuala Lumpur. Grifters beat an immigrant day laborer and leave him on the streets. Rawang, a young man, finds him, carries him home, cares for him, and sleeps next to him. In a loft above lives a waitress. She sometimes provides care and attention. More violence seems a constant possibility. They find another man abandoned on the street, paralyzed. They carry him. While no one speaks to each other, sounds dominate: coughing, cooking, coupling, opening bags; music and news reports on a radio, the rattle and buzz of a restaurant. It's dark in the city at night. We see down hallways, through doors, down alleys. Who sleeps with whom? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Malaysia | China | Taiwan | France | Austria


Min Nan | Malay | Mandarin | Bengali

Release Date:

23 March 2007 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone See more »

Filming Locations:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,377, 11 May 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,136, 29 July 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2007 (#10, tied with "Ne touchez pas à la hache" and "Sang sattawat") See more »


References Last Images of the Shipwreck (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

Let It Calms You Down, Search For What You Want.
2 April 2007 | by samuelding85See all my reviews

I've attended the Singapore gala premier of Tsai Ming Liang's I Don't Want to Sleep Alone 3 hours ago, and here's the verdict: The movie calms you down, and let it search for you want. That's what the supporting actress Pearlly Chua said to the audience before the movie begins. And indeed, it calms you down.

Tsai's 1st attemp in his country of origin Malaysia has proved to be a success, despite being banned by the government back in Malaysia for portraying the other side of Malaysia, where it so happens that 2007 is a significant year for Malaysia, as it is a year where Malaysia is drawing people around the world to visit Malaysia for its beauty and unique blend of culture. However, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone tells the other side of Malaysia, in terms of the lifestyle of Malaysian Chinese and Bangladeshi workers and the surroundings, makes the government feel that the film is damaging the image of the country.

And why is that so? In the film, were were introduced to a homeless man and a paralyzed man (both played by Lee Kang Sheng, Tsai's muse cum favorite actor), a foreign worker (Norman Atun), a waitress in a neighborhood cafe (Chen Hsiang Chyi) and her lady boss (Pearlly Chua), who was the mother of the paralyzed man. The homeless man was robbed by a group of thugs and was saved by a group of foreign workers. A worker showers care and concern for the homeless man and gave him food and lodge, and a share of the old mattress found at a garbage dump. On the other side, waitress works in a neighborhood cafe and takes care of the paralyzed man. The homeless man met the waitress and share the feelings for each other by following each other around in the neighborhood.

Compared to his previous The Wayward Cloud, a musical that discuss sex, desire and crave for one another in a unusual manner (think of using watermelons to express love), Tsai is going back to his usual style of presentation in I Don't Want. Do not expect any dialogues among the cast, let alone the expression of love for each other using songs and dance. What you get is 115 minutess of peace, without any music to go along with. What you see and hear are sounds from the surroundings in our daily life. Think scrubbing of dirty clothes, the honks in a crowded traffic, songs from radio stations and Indian musicals from a home video shop.

The film greatly explores the cravings and desires every human being wants. The worker isolates himself from his peers and stick with the homeless man, the homeless man follows the waitress and eventually, the lady boss had sex with the homeless man at the backyard. Tsai uses the emotional world of ordinary human beings to explore the desires and cravings thru something that one tend to missed out from the daily life.

For moviegoers who finds 3 minutes of motionless scenes a drag, I Don't Want is definitely not a film for you. At the start of the movie, we see a paralyzed man lying motionlessly on a bed for about 2 minutes. And be prepared that for the next few scenes, it would be focused for an average of 2 minutes per scene.

And so I Don't Want works out under this formula: Malaysian film + Tsai Ming Liang = I Don't Want To Sleep Alone.

Overall, it is peaceful and quiet, without much dialogues to go along with. If you are getting tired of normal noisy flicks, let I Don't Want to Sleep Alone to cleanse your preference of movies.

Go see it. You will feel calm after the show. Malaysian film + Tsai Ming Liang = I Don't Want To Sleep Alone.

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