In Taiwan, Xiao-kang, a young man in his early 20s, lives with his parents in near silence. He is plagued by severe neck pain. His father is bedeviled by water first leaking into his bedroom and then flooding the apartment; rain is incessant. Xiao-kang's mother is overcome by sexual longing for her son, sometimes making seemingly incestuous overtures. They try virtually every intervention for Xiao-kang's neck: Western medicine, a chiropractor, acupuncture, an herbal doctor, and a faith healer, Master Liu. Are the family's silent dynamics and Xiao-kang's neck pain connected? And what about the body floating in the Tamsui River: is everything dead?
Tsai Ming-Liang was born in Malaysia in 1957, and graduated from the drama department of the Chinese Cultural University of Taiwan in 1982. After graduation he worked as a theatre director, screen writer and producer. Ming-Liang is, together with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang, regarded as one of the leading directors from Taiwan. Since his directing debut with REBELS OF THE NEON GOD in 1992 he has made eight films, which in one way or
another are connected to each other. His filmography include the award winning films: VIVE L’AMOUR (1994), THE RIVER (1997), DONG (1998), WHAT TIME IS IT THERE (2001) and GOODBYE, DRAGON INN (2003). In all his films he uses the actor Lee Kang-Sheng, which he accidentally met in a gaming hall. His latest release THE WAYWARD CLOUD won three awards at the Berlin film festival.