Seafood

Haixian

Director:
Year: 2001
Country: China
Running time: 90 mins
China
Producer/Screenplay/Editor: Zhu Wen
Photography: Liu Yonghong
In Mandarin with English subtitles

With: Jinzi, Cheng Taisheng

Festivals: Venice, Vancouver, London 2001; Rotterdam, Berlin 2002
‘Bad Lieutenant goes East’ said Moving Pictures of novelist-cum-director Zhu Wen’s jagged, sardonic tale of unhappy hookers and bent cops. The off-season seaside resort of Bedaihe provides the bleak setting. Reeling from an unhappy love affair, Beijing prostitute Xiaomei selects one of her fake IDs, checks into a hotel and prepares to commit suicide. When the sullen poet in the room next door slashes his wrists first, she is ‘rescued’ by the lecherous attention of the investigating cop, Deng. Determined to bully her into a new appetite for life – and seafood, he’s in for a surprise. The audience for this film is in for several more, as Zhu changes tone and emphasis with the perverse authority of a Kubrick. Beautifully shot on DV, Seafood captures the chilly atmosphere with crisp winter light glimmering through frosted windows and glinting off the icy expanses of a frozen river.

“The strongest and strangest new movie from the Chinese underground this year: haunted, harrowing, and ultimately quite hilarious.” — LA Independent Film Festival