The Great Buddha+
Gateway | Dragons & Tigers
Pickle (played with beautiful understatement by Cres Chuang) works as a night watchman in a foundry, where a giant statue of Buddha is under construction. Belly Button (played with piquant humour by brilliant theatre actor Bamboo Chen) leads a life on the urban Taiwanese margins, collecting scraps of garbage by day and hanging out with Pickle at night. Bored of passing the time by flipping through porn magazines, they discover that their somewhat sleazy, politically well-connected, decidedly over-amorous boss Kevin (Leon Dai, perfectly incarnating the classic corrupt, oily Taiwanese political-businessman type) has a dashcam with plenty of stored footage. Their curiosity leads them to discover what are at first mildly salacious, and then luridly shocking, details of Boss Kevin’s nocturnal prowlings. The further they dig, the more simultaneously dark and humorous the story becomes.
Huang Hsin-yao, a prize-winning Taiwanese documentary maker, makes a stunning blackly comic debut, using pointed humour to both satirize and expose the moral underbellies of Taiwan’s upper and lower classes. Chung Mong-hong’s brilliant black and white cinematography underlines graphically the moral stakes at play, helping to make this an instant classic of contemporary Taiwanese cinema that packs a powerful sting and a profoundly unnerving resonance.
— Shelly Kraicer
Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, Grand Prize, Taipei 17
Preceded By: Shepherd's PurseDirector: Dong Hao / China, 2017, 14 min.
Gorgeous, troubling images of work, dust, decay and destruction saturate this short experimental piece with an eerie calm.