This is one twisted bit of “Food Noir”. On par with “The Cook The Thief….” and “The Green Butchers” this film was intense and grotesque and an uncomfortable joy to watch.
It is the story of Mrs. Li, an aging TV star, who is estranged from her husband. He is a typical rich HK businessman who is having an affair with a young masseuse. In order to re-capture her youth, she seeks out Aunt Mei-a dumpling chef located in one of the slums of Kowloon. Aunt Mei claims to sell dumplings that are guaranteed to make you look young and strengthen your libido. Her secret ingredient is……….. Unborn fetuses smuggled in from an abortion clinic in Shenzhen.
Eeeesh-some of the cooking sequences are pretty gruesome and the story line certainly gets twisted in the end but it’s a very good film. The characters are well developed and the cinematography and soundtrack are a total joy to watch. Also, the idea of food being medicine is so prevalent in China that people will go to great lengths to counter the effects of aging skin and libidos. There are a bunch of quotes in this movie that make reference to China’s cannibalistic past (true or not) they certainly make you think.
Writer: Lilian Lee