A mother and daughter’s fraught relationship takes unexpected turns while they quarantine during COVID, in the latest from Chung Mong-Hong (A Sun).
Following the wide international success of A Sun, which received its world premiere at TIFF 2019 and made the Oscar shortlist for Best International Feature Film in 2021, Chung Mong-Hong returns to direct The Falls, his most ambitious film to date, and the first to feature female characters in the lead roles.
An unsettling look at the devastating effects of home confinement on family relations due to COVID-19, The Falls follows Pin-Wen (Alyssa Chia), a divorced woman living with her teenage daughter. While the world as she knows it starts crumbling around her, she slowly tips over the edge of stability, sliding into the depths of psychotic disorder.
Quarantined at home after a classmate tests positive, Xiao Jing (Gingle Wang) starts noticing small, alarming signs of something being wrong with her mother. Their relationship soon transforms from problematic to a spiralling nightmare.
As Pin-Wen loses her job and is hospitalized, her teenage daughter becomes the only person in the world she can rely on. Burdened with family debts, the absence of her father, and mental illness, Xiao Jing is suddenly faced with premature adulthood.
Beautifully shot by Chung himself, The Falls is a sharp yet compassionate look at the unexpected directions lives can take in extreme circumstances. Chung’s attention to detail and to the subtle movements of the soul paints onto the screen two indelible female characters of great strength and beauty.