Wisdom Tooth

Ming Liang
Fri 23 Apr 21 - Thu 29 Apr 21

A sensitive film about a love triangle between the Chinese Guxi, her half-brother Guliang and the Korean girl Quingchang. Faces and expressions speak louder than words. Sensitive and warm, but also cold and colourful.

The recent adult Guxi has a tooth ache. She complains about it to her half-brother, Guliang, with whom she is so close, he is allowed to wash her back during their visits to the local bath house. She works at a hotel as a maid, he fishes. They threaten to lose their income because of an oil spill in the sea, so Guliang gets a new job through his friend Dongzi. The close relation between half brother and sister will be tested for the first time when Quingchang, a well-off Korean girl with a fiery spirit, enters their lives. She brings with her cheeriness, adventure and a whiff of luxury. But she also brings turmoil. Her father appears to be a sort of mafia boss and Guxi has a hard time with the budding romance between Guliang and Quingchang. Since the girls also get along nicely, a sensitive ménage a trois develops. The love triangle becomes even more complicated when Guxi’s feelings towards her brother evolve into something sexual. Everything becomes even more tense when a fisher at sea dies under mysterious circumstances. Guliang and his friend Dongzi apparently have something to do with it.

Debut filmmaker Liang Ming fluidly tells this convincing tale, subtly revealing the characters' mutual relations and suppressed, complex emotions. Tension rises naturally, no artifice required and aided by good acting, all in a world that shifts between colourful and warm, and cold and threatening.

Wisdom Tooth is often described as a cross-over between Lee Chang-Dong’s masterpiece Burning and a European-flavoured relationship drama a la Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers. There is no greater compliment for a debut filmmaker.

direction
Ming Liang
cast
Yongzhong Chen, Xingchen Lyu, Jiajia Wang, Weishen Wang
duration
104 min
year
2019
country
China
language
Chinese
Subtitles
Dutch, English

#drama #broerzus #sluimerendespanningen #jaloezie #corruptie #olieramp

'…intriguing, textured account of simmering sibling tensions, secrets and jealousy…'

Screendaily

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