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With a week until the 21st century dawns, Taiwan is drenched by an unending rainstorm and scourged by a mysterious disease that has reached epidemic propor­tions. The government decrees a massive evacuation from the contaminated zone, the remaining residents are warned that garbage will go uncollected and water will soon be shut off—diehards still refuse to move. In a run-down public housing building, a man is awakened from a nap by the doorbell. A plumber has been sent by the downstairs neighbour who has complained of a leak. Not only does the plumber worsen the problem, bul he also leaves a large hole in the living room floor.

Tsai Ming-liang's two previous films collected major prizes at Venice and Berlin Film Festivals, and The Hole is destined for similar accolades. His bleak and radical but uncompromising vision of the very near future posits biological disaster but holds out hope that the human spirit has a final chance of overcoming even apocalyptic challenges.