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Dead Pigs

Cathy Yan’s freewheeling, mosaic-like multicultural comedy charts the misadventures of diverse Shanghai denizens, linked by a mysterious epidemic of porcine carcasses drifting towards the city’s harbour.

Dir-Scr Cathy Yan
Prod Clarissa Zhang, Jane Zheng
With Vivian Wu, Mason Lee, Haoyu Yang
China
2018
130min
Sales CAA
Subtitles

There’s no obvious explanation why farmer Old Wang’s swine herd starts to die off. Then again, equally unlikely are the plights of assorted other folk we meet in this buoyant, wide-ranging satire on modern Chinese capitalism: the American expat architect hired by a shady real estate conglomerate; Wang’s estranged sister (Vivian Wu) resisting family home eviction by said corporation; or his son (Mason Lee), posing as a successful businessman when he’s really eking out a living as a waiter. Feature debutant Yan’s gradual interweaving of these tales is performed with an old hand’s casual elegance, while the sheer vitality of her tradition-versus-progress debate evidences a neophyte’s go-for-broke invention. And the singalong finale will make you squeal with delight.

Leigh Singer

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