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Showing Friday 7th October | 19:30
Country Hong Kong
Run Time 91 mins
Format 35mm
Director Fruit Chan

Peter Chan

Screenplay Fruit Chan, Lilian Lee
Featuring Ling Bai, Maggie Cheung, Pauline Lau
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Forget moisturising, botox or facelifts. The word on the street is if you want to stay looking forever young then pay a visit to Aunt Mei – she’s got the best dumplings in town. Just don’t ask what’s in them. When Mrs Lee comes a-knocking, looking to revive her flatlined marriage and regain her youthful beauty, she eagerly indulges in Aunt Mei’s culinary cure-alls. But nothing comes without a price, and soon Mrs Lee has to face up to a horrifying truth. A disturbing urban myth, Dumplings dances like the twisted offspring of Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Director Fruit Chan has crafted an eerily effective, genre-defying film that explores the obsession with beauty in a way that really gets under the skin. With the prize – eternal youth – so great, morality has become little more than a memory for these characters. Despite the macabre undercurrents, Dumplings opts for a gently hypnotic, almost melodramatic style where the characters’ actions and motivations seem strangely normal. All the better to deliver the nasty, crunching twists. It’s the kind of film that politely sidles up to ask you for a light, before aiming a meat cleaver at your neck. And this is the key to the film’s success. It’s a horror film that avoids all of the usual shock tactics. Blood and gore are largely absent, making way for clever suggestion, provocative ideas and unsettling sound effects. JG

Total Film – ‘A morbid, engrossing portion of human horror’
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