The River (1997) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Kang-sheng Lee, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The River (1997)

This movie (He liu), co-written and directed by Ming-liang Tsai in 1997, won the Special Jury Prizes of the 1997 Berlin and Chicago International Film festivals.
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Kang-Sheng lives with his parents in a small apartment and the communication between the members of this family is reduced to the bare minimum. The father regularly cheats on his wife with young male prostitutes. One day, Kang-Sheng, by request of a film director, decides to swim in a polluted river. From this day on, the young boy will suffer from a lancinating pain in the neck.

Accompanied by his father, Kang-Sheng will see physical therapists, doctors followers of the Western and Chinese medicine. Finally, helpless in front of his distress and his pain, Kang-Sheng's father brings his son to a temple and asks the priests to cure him. During the following night, the father and the son meet in the sauna of the hotel and have a sexual intercourse.

The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler

Script Analysis of The River (1997)

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Inner struggle or disability    -   Yes Taboo Sex Story?    -   Yes Kind of sex:    -   incest    -   Gay guys! Brain/Body not working?    -   physical disability

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Chinese Unusual characteristics:    -   Physically sick    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


Asia/Pacific/Middle East    -   Yes Asian country:    -   China Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   river City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York) Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes

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