Sunday, April 12, 2009

Southeast Asian migrant workers on the edge in Detours to Paradise

Detours to Paradise, a Taiwanese drama about migrant workers from Southeast Asia, has opened in Taiwan, and it makes its international premiere on Tuesday as the opening film of the 22nd Singapore International Film Festival (where it's called Sincerely Yours or Qilu Tiantang).

I've mentioned the movie before in a roundup of the Thai films at the Singapore fest, noting its Thai connections.

Actor-filmmaker Banlop Lomnoi, one of the leading men in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Tropical Malady, stars as a Thai construction worker in Taipei who strikes up a relationship with an Indonesian maid.

Yang Kuei-mei from Pleasure Factory also stars, playing a paralyzed and depressed former movie star.

David on Formosa has more:

Detours to Paradise (歧路天堂), directed by Rich Lee (李奇), portrays the lives of “runaway” foreign workers in Taiwan. Statistics from the Council of Labor Affairs state there were 365,060 foreign workers from Southeast Asia in Taiwan at the end of 2008. In addition there were 25,821 runaway foreign workers. They are a significant group in number and must struggle to make a living in often harsh and difficult circumstances.

According to David, both Banlop and Indonesian model, actress and filmmaker Lola Amaria learned Mandarin specifically for this movie.

Watching the trailer at YouTube (embedded below), it reminded me a bit of Tsai Ming-Liang's own tale of migrant workers on the edge, I Don't Want to Sleep Alone.

(Thanks David!)

1 comment:

  1. It also reminded me of another Tsai Ming-liang film, Rebels of a Neon God.


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