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THE FOURTH PORTRAIT

Taiwan, 2010 (MIFF 2011, Accent on Asia)

Director: Chung Mong-Hong

THE FOURTH PORTRAIT

A haunting depiction of loss and loneliness, channelled through the eyes of a child.

When his father dies, with his mother long absent, ten year-old Xiang is alone. Caught stealing from other people's lunchboxes by the school janitor, social services track down Xiang's long estranged mother and send him to live with her, her malcontented husband and their new baby. Scorned and resented at home and lost in the world at large, Xiang retreats to portraiture as a way of understanding the life unfurling around him.

A sterling follow-up to his debut, Parking, Chung Mong-Hong has crafted a delicate and pointed portrait of Taiwanese life that startles in its frankness. Reflecting a painter's eye for composition and colour, The Fourth Portrait is a visually striking yet quietly told hymn to the bonds of family and society.

D Chung Mong-Hong P Tseng Shao-Chien S Chung Mong-Hong, Tu Hsiang-Wen WS Good Films Workshop L Mandarin w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2010

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