Bai Yide is a young man living alone. He works at a bookstore and derives sexual pleasure by stealing and wearing women’s underwear. One day, he receives a DVD in which his activities have been recorded and he becomes anxious.
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The undeniable need of the fetishist and the resulting shame and guilt are expertly captured in this feature from Chu Hsien-Che. A young woman captures on video a young man stealing lingerie and anonymously sends him a copy not realizing the lives that will be affected by her meddling. Exceptionally performed and scripted this Taiwanese film is well worth seeking out.
A powerful and fundamental portrait on mental illness, it's crippling consequences, and how the stigma and lack of empathy can lead to a dark isolated place. There are no guidelines, it's waiting for anyone, and that's a terrifying truth - the real epidemic of contemporary society. This film is raw, with superb acting, from the guts as cinema needs. For my part, one of the best things I've watched from recent years.
This stunning and strange film touches on the taboos of human sexuality and the shame that comes with it. The sparing use of dialogue and music creates its own weight for the viewer, allowing the film to have more impact in that way. It also focuses on the theme of guilt, which each character experiences in their own way.
Harsh stuff about what it means to cope in society that doesn’t approve deviation from social norms, and about not thinking enough about the consequences of one’s action. There’s a lot of desperation, crying, disappointment, wishing in vain, but the story is told in beautiful, slow-paced shots, the quintessence of Asian art house cinema.
A mixed bag of reviews and strangely enough I agree with both sides. White Ant falls short of being the indie classic it could have been due to what I call the "Psych 101" sequences that only exist to help us understand Bai Yide's "problem". This derails the film at about the halfway point and it struggles to get back. Still - a must see imo. Haunting final image.
Aesthetically perfect, beautiful image games and an harmony on the whole result. Impacting how strong moments can be combined with such elegance. Sadly the second part, trying to provoke some questions and trying to focus on her (mother and girl), wasn't able to send a clear message, which in this movie, I think would be necessary.
2.5 Empathetic depiction of the son and his relationship with his mother. What was missing for me was the backstory of the girl who films him. We get no information to understand the girl's insistence on crucifying him (beyond mentions of an ex-boyfriend). So I began to worry about her parrot instead: it is pulling its feathers out and suffering from anxiety. It needs a new owner.