Faced with diminishing returns on his harvest, a poor young farmer in Myanmar pawns his cow for a moped and seeks alternative income as a taxi driver. Among his first fares is a woman who has returned home for her grandfather’s funeral and is making a new start after escaping an arranged marriage in China. Together, they are lured into one of the few lucrative business opportunities available in the area: selling “ice poison” (crystal meth) around town.
With three feature films under his belt, Burmese-Taiwanese director, Midi Z, has developed a naturalistic cinematic language that allows a documentary-like intimacy with his characters. In his latest work, he has crafted a measured drama that balances the daily hardships faced by many in Myanmar with moments of joy shared by his characters—from the glowing neon lights of a karaoke bar to the freedom of the open road, and the tainted promise of the drug that allows for a fleeting escape but threatens to continue their cycle of poverty.
Length: 95 minutes
Language: Burmese, Chinese
Taiwan R.O.C., Myanmar
Premiere: North American
Director: Midi Z
Screenwriter: Midi Z
Producer: Midi Z, Patrick Mao Huang
Editor: Lin Sheng-Wen, Midi Z
Associate Producer: Law Bing-Chi, Lee Li-Fong, Li Ming, Qin Yu, Tan Chui Mui
Cinematographer: Fan Sheng-Siang
Executive Producer: Patrick Mao Huang
Location Sound/Sound Designer: Chou Cheng
Art Director: Zhao Zhi-Tang
Cast: Wu Ke-Xi, Wang Shin-Hong, Zhou Cai Chang, Yang Shu Lan, Li Shang Da
Midi Z was born in Myanmar and trained as an artist in Taiwan. His first and second features, Return to Burma (2011) and Poor Folk (2012), had very successful festival runs around the world. In 2013, Midi Z was commissioned to participate as a director in an omnibus feature project, Taipei Factory, which world premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight of Cannes Film Festival. His latest feature film, Ice Poison, had its world premiere at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival.