The Bird People in China

Film, Action and adventure
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Very different from Miike's gangster movies but equally rooted in his obvious passion for all things Chinese, this 'adult fairytale' sends two ill-matched Japanese men on a mission to investigate a seam of jade in a remote area of Yunnan (China's deep south-west). Wada (Motoko) is a lily-livered company man; Ujiie (Ishibashi) is a bad mannered, foul mouthed and latently psychotic yakuza who muscles in on the trip because Wada's firm owes money to his gang. The perilous quest takes up the first half of the film, but the second is something else again: both men fall under the spell of the village and Wada grows fascinated by the (mysteriously blue-eyed) girl who claims to be teaching the local children to fly. Pitched somewhere between King of the Children and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, the film's mix of adventure-comedy and magic realism confirms Miike as a genuinely innovative talent.

By: TR

Release details

Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Takashi Miike
Screenwriter: Masa Nakamura
Cast: Masahiro Motoko
Renji Ishibashi
Mako
Wang Lili

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
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  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|2
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1 of 1 found helpful

Great movie that displays the creative range of Miike. A standout performance from Renji Ishibashi. An interesting and engaging fable, masquerading initially as a gangster movie. Very enjoyable.

1 of 1 found helpful

Great movie that displays the creative range of Miike. A standout performance from Renji Ishibashi. An interesting and engaging fable, masquerading initially as a gangster movie. Very enjoyable.