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人民公廁 (2002)
Public Toilet

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 07/20/2009
Summary: i prefer hong kong...

a meandering musing from fruit chan, focussing the world of the public toilet. dong dong (abe tsuyoshi) lives in beijing: he is known as "god of toilets", having been delivered by his mother as she crouched in a public convenience and fished out by his grandmother. dong dong, is searching for cures to ailments, whilst they visit and discuss public toilets. in new york, dong dong meets sam (sam lee), a hitman who is off for a meeting in, you've guessed it, a public toilet. dong dong's friend, tony (ma zhe), travels to india to find a cure for his ill brother and meets two indian brothers who work at a public toilet in hong kong. then dong dong travels to korea, where we also get the story of a cho (cho in-sung), who meets a mysterious sea dwelling girl (kim yang-hie), living underneath his family's portable toilet...

yep, not your average narrative. the film is a low budget, indie affair, or at least it feels that way, despite the location hopping, and it's shot on dv, although that in no way detracts from it. as a film, it is okay, if not slightly stained with dribbles of pretension. there's a lot i like about the film but, at times, it is just a little dull. i can't really think of anything else to write. it's by no means a sublime slice of art house meditation, neither is it a piece of crap (pun intended); if you've read this and think it sounds rubbish, then you should avoid it. if it sounds interesting to you, then give it a watch...


Reviewed by: duriandave
Date: 12/09/2005

"It's all about the anal": so starts the rap song (written by director Fruit Chan) that rolls with the end credits of Public Toilet. Telling the story of Dong Dong, God of Public Toilets (so called because he was born and abandoned by his mother in a public toilet and later rescued out of the sewage by his grandmother), as well as the stories of several other characters scattered across the world, in Beijing, Pusan, New Delhi, Hong Kong, and New York, Public Toilet is Fruit Chan's most ambitious project. The film is not just about shitting and pissing, although those activities and the by-products thereof, are featured prominently throughout the film; it is about finding meaning and coping with loss on this material plane of existence. Rough and unpolished, Public Toilet is nonetheless a real gem. The story is rambling—just like its characters who roam the world searching for cures for the illnesses afflicting their loved ones. The movie was shot on DV, which might be disappointing for those who have loved the cinematography in his other films, but Fruit Chan takes full advantage of the medium's strengths. While the film is not without its flaws (the English dialogue is often stilted and awkwardly delivered and the message of the film is sometimes too didactic), Fruit Chan has created alchemical gold from the prima materia of his subject matter.

Reviewer Score: 8