Fiction

Jiaoyou

Stray Dogs
Tsai Ming-liang
Taiwan, FRA 2013
138min
V'13

The film’s unspeakably beautiful first image – which seems to be a flash-forward to long after the story ends – captures a young woman in a verdant room, brushing her hair as two figures sleep behind her. From here we meet the film’s central characters, the vagabonds alluded to in the title. We see two children, brother and sister, traversing an ancient wood, or running along a golden beach. We see their father (Tsai regular lee Kang-sheng) standing sentinellike in the middle of busy Taipei traffic, holding signs advertising luxury condominiums. The irony is that this family can’t even afford to rent a shoebox apartment.
Like Tsai’s sublime i DON’T WANT TO SLEEP ALONE, STRAY DOGS plucks its characters from society's margins; without sentimentalizing their subjects, these films exude empathy for day labourers and the homeless. As one mysterious, gorgeously composed scene gives way to the next, we come to know these characters, and something of their history, a time when they indeed had a home, a mother, a very different sort of life. We gaze into their past with them, are invited to share in their loss, and, gradually, imagine some brighter future. (Giovanna Fulvi)

Credits
  • Lee Kang-sheng
  • Lu Yi-ching
  • Lee Yi-cheng
  • Lee Yi-chieh
  • Chen Shiang-chyi
  • Tsai Ming-liang
  • Tung Cheng yu
  • Peng Fei
  • Mark Ford
  • Tu Duu Chih
  • Kuo Li Chi
  • Liao Pen Jung
  • Sung Wen Zhong
  • Lei Chen Ching
  • Masa Liu
  • Wang Chia hui
Homegreen Films, JBA Production

Urban Distribution International

DCP
col
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