A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an expat architect and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river towards a rapidly-modernizing Shanghai.
A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an ambitious expat architect and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river towards a rapidly modernizing Shanghai, China. Based on true events.
A multi-generational Chinese family struggles between tradition and modernity
Chinese-American director Cathy Yan's delightful, spiky, comic debut about overlapping lives and interlocking misfortunes in modern China.
In the Chinese zodiac, the happy-go-lucky pig stands for good fortune and wealth. So an inexplicable epidemic that decimates the porcine population in a developing part of China still heavily reliant on pig farming, could be symbolically as well as literally disastrous, and it provides Cathy Yan's sprawling, bouncing, jaunty debut with its darkest images.
When a flotilla of porcine carcasses bobbed through China's waterways in 2013, it demonstrated the country's modern dilemma: the difficulties of balancing traditional, rural ways with its ceaseless push towards the future. Taking inspiration from the headline-grabbing real-life events for her first feature, writer/director Cathy Yan ponders that juxtaposition through a quintet of Shanghai residents with interconnected lives. While the titular animals might not fly in the Sundance-bowing Dead Pigs, they certainly do drift through the lives of its searching, yearning characters.
Yan's DEAD PIGS is a portrait of humanity in a country that has adopted an attitude of modernizing at all costs. Full of dark images, but paired with a jaunty, delightful humor, DEAD PIGS veritably bounces in contrast to the social realism that has come to characterize popular arthouse in China today.
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