The Hole (Dong)

1998

The Hole (Dong)

Critics Consensus

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80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,858
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Movie Info

At the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, this Taiwanese-French drama won a FIPRESCI Award, given by international critics. Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang previously won top awards for his 1994 Vive l'amour (at Venice) and 1996 The River (at Berlin). High strangeness is evident in the tale, originally initiated as part of the French TV series of one-hour end-of-millennium dramas. As an epidemic spreads through Taipei, virus victims display odd symptoms. A man (Lee Kang-sheng) who runs a food store with few customers lives in a shabby building in a quarantined section, and a woman (Yang Kuei-mei) in the same building has a withdrawn existence. A plumber, checking a leak, makes a hole in the man's floor and leaves; the man then observes his neighbors through the hole. The film features four musical fantasy sequences that recall Hong Kong musical films of the '50s.

Cast

Kang-sheng Lee
as The Man Upstairs
Kuei-Mei Yang
as The Woman Downstairs
Tien Miao
as A Shopper
Hsiang-Chu Tong
as The Plumber

Critic Reviews for The Hole (Dong)

All Critics (10) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for The Hole (Dong)

  • Feb 26, 2016
    The musical numbers don't always fit organically within the story, but Tsai's bleak idea of a post-apocalyptic Taiwan under constant rain and in maximum literal isolation is a powerful one as he pictures modern disconnected people turning into cockroaches in the middle of garbage.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2015
    An epidemic hits Taiwan, people who suffered from the disease become cockroach like in terms of their behaviour. A plumber created a hole in a man's apartment and the man and his neighbour began to suffer from the delusions and hallucinations of the effect of the disease. The hole represented the depression in a socially planned urban environment, everyone fills it with different methods. The hole is also a musical that juxtaposed the depression with cheerful tunes.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 2013
    like my favorite depression era cinema: bleak as all hell, with musical numbers!!
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2011
    How much does real life differ from this piece of minimalistic anarchy? Ever wondered why does the virus already involve the lowest behaviors any human could display (lowering its status to a cockroach)? "We are already living in an apocalypse", Ming-liang argues throughout with this spectacular oddity, "and we are already living as such". I'm not quoting him directly but trust me, it's much more fun to try to decipher what a director tells to us by our own rather than consulting the web or exclusive interviews. Kill some neurons! 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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