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DUMPLINGS aka GAAU JI
UK: Tartan Films
Cast: Ling Bai, Miriam Yeung, Tony Ka-Fai Leung, Pauline Lau, Miki Yeung, Wong Sa-Fun, Peter Wong, Wong Sum-Yeung, Wu Wai-Man, Meme Tian
Director: Fruit Chan
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles)
UK: 91 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains abortion theme and strong gory images
UK Release Date: 16 June 2006 (Limited Release - London, ICA)
UK Release Date:16 June 2006 (Limited Release - wider)
Qing Li (Miriam Yeung) is not coping well with ageing. Her vanity leads her to seek potions and powders to keep the wrinkles at bay, until desperation leads her to downtown Kowloon and Mei (Bai Ling - EDMOND, SOUTHLAND TALES), a trashy Chinese mainland woman who does a roaring trade in her 'special' rejuvenation recipes with women visiting her shabby high-rise for a weekly fix of the mysterious succulent, pink dumplings. But what is the secret ingredient? When you make a meal-deal with the devil, it's better not to ask what's in the filling.
Directed by Fruit Chan, the award-winning director of MADE IN HONG KONG, DUMPLINGS is sumptuously shot by Christopher Doyle whose gifted eye captures the grim visual nuances of this macabre tale. The dough-wrapped delicacies at the story's centre take on a sinister aspect when their true nature is revealed in this deliciously dark fantasy.
DUMPLINGS screened in competition at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival and is based on a marvellous novella by Lillian Lee. Originally made as one section of a three-part horror omnibus (alongside contributions by Park Chan-wook and Takashi Miike), Chan has expanded his nightmarish vision to feature length, and the result is a richer, more complex horror film.