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Rating: 7 stars


taipei taiwan illness director river gay themes sex shower parents priest infidelity pollution dysfunctional family son father

Seen 1 time

Seen on: 03/22/2020

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The River (1997)

Directed by Tsai Ming-liang


Most recently watched by sleestakk


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.

Length 115 minutes


Yang Kuei-Mei | Lee Kang-Sheng | Chen Shiang-Chyi | Lu Yi-Ching | Ann Hui | Miao Tian

Viewing Notes

Challenging and unique film that is unmistakably Tsai Ming-liang. Possibly the most dialogue I’ve heard in one of his films. This is a good example of a movie that benefit seeing it in theater on a big screen (with a better print than this dated DVD which does not look very good). Having seen the other Tsai films at Doc Films where I could really focus and be absorbed by the movies, viewing this one at home my mind would drift during those still shots that pause on the scene. If I got the chance to see this on the big screen I would definitely do it. But it is an uncomfortable watch as Lee Kang-sheng is very convincing with having this neck pain.

I do love seeing that shopping mall in the opening scene. It’s the same one seen in THE SKYWALK IS GONE five years later.


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