(Midi Z, 2014, 95 min, Taiwan/Myanmar, Mandarin & Burmese w/ English subtitles, Color, Digital)
-- Introduced by Prof. Luke Robinson (Dept. of Media and Film, University of Sussex, UK)!
Faced with diminishing returns on his harvest, a poor young farmer in Myanmar pawns his cow for a moped and seeks alternative income as a taxi driver. Among his first fares is a woman who has returned home for her grandfather’s funeral and is making a new start after escaping an arranged marriage in China. Together, they are lured into one of the few lucrative business opportunities available in the area: selling “ice poison” (crystal meth) around town.
Burmese-Taiwanese director, Midi Z, has developed a naturalistic cinematic language that allows a documentary-like intimacy with his characters. In his latest work, he has crafted a measured drama that balances the daily hardships faced by many in Myanmar with moments of joy shared by his characters—from the glowing neon lights of a karaoke bar to the freedom of the open road, and the tainted promise of the drug that allows for a fleeting escape but threatens to continue their cycle of poverty.
Cost: Free and open to the public
Sponsors: The Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), and the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES).