After watching a total of 13 films, the 2018 version of the Dallas International Film Festival is officially over! It has been a a week-long blur of terrific narrative films and documentaries, and I definitely look forward to next year!
Dead Pigs is an intriguing Chinese foreign language narrative that explores the confluence of traditional China with the rapid modernization of the society by dividing the film into five different story lines revolve around distinct characters that eventually overlap. We follow a desperate traditional pig farmer, a stubborn middle-aged woman who refuses to sell her family house to a developer, an American expatriate trying to make means as an architect, a struggling busboy who falls in love, and a rich spoiled girl who is the subject of the busboy’s affection. All of the stories are intertwined because of a rather unusual crisis that actually took place around 2013 in which thousands of pigs mysteriously died and ended up in the rivers of Shanghai. Although sometimes only tangentially connected to the events in the movie, the dead pigs situation is a larger metaphor for the complex issues facing a rapidly modern China while also putting a dark comedic and satirical spin on the rather remarkable film.