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The River
The River
8.2
/10
1,228 Ratings

THE RIVER

河流 | He liu

Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Taiwan, 1997
Drama, LGBTQ+

Synopsis

A family resides under the same roof but live disparate lives. While the son’s mysterious neck ailment and a water leak keep the family occupied, the mother pursues an unsatisfying affair and the father frequents bathhouses for sex. When father and son finally connect, the results are devastating.

Synopsis

A family resides under the same roof but live disparate lives. While the son’s mysterious neck ailment and a water leak keep the family occupied, the mother pursues an unsatisfying affair and the father frequents bathhouses for sex. When father and son finally connect, the results are devastating.

Our take

Taiwanese auteur Tsai Ming-liang won the Silver Bear at Berlin for this riveting treasure, based on long-time muse Lee Kang-sheng’s own mysterious neck injury. Stretching the boundaries of formal innovation, The River touchingly illuminates urban melancholia and the symbiosis between mind and body.