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Archive - 12th Five Flavours Film Festival

14 Apples

Taiwan, Burma 2018, 84’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Midi Z
screenplay: Wu Pei-chi, Midi Z, Lin Sheng-wen
cinematography: Midi Z
editing: Wu Pei-chi, Midi Z, Lin Sheng-wen
sound: Chou Cheng, Li Tsung-tse
cast: Wang Shin-hong
producer: Midi Z, Isabella Ho, Lin Sheng-wen, Wang Shin-hong
executive producer: Jessie Shih
production: Seashore Image Productions
language: Burmese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Berlinale 2018, Taipei FF 2018, London East Asia FF 2018

Film description

Wang Shin-hong, a weathly businessman from Mandalay, is suffering from insomnia. A fortune teller advises him to buy fourteen apples, go to the remote monastery at the Birma's countryside for two weeks and live as a monk, eating only one apple a day as a form of fasting. Wang's car gets stuck in the sandy road, he leaves it in the middle of nowhere and gradually has to let go of material properties as buddhist monk can own only 8 things: his robe (3 pieces of fabric), a begging bowl, belt, water-filter, a needle to repair their robe, and a razor to shave their head. After arriving at the rural monastery Wang Shin-hong learns that theory is very far from the practice.

Midi Z continues his autheur style, keeps a very strict formalist film premise. True story that happened to Wang Shin-hong - "14 Apples" main actor and filmmaker's longterm collaborator - becomes the basis upon which Midi Z builds up the indepth observation through using documentary film technics. The director again mentions crucial social phenomenons in Birma such as legal or illegal migrantion to China, Thailand or Malaysia. For the first time Midi Z focuses on Birma's highly influential national religion - Buddhism - and the way it function in the society. 

Maja Korbecka

Midi Z

Born in 1982 in Burma film director and scriptwriter based in Taiwan. His grandfather was a trader and came to Burma from Yunnan, China, during the end of British colonial period. Now Midi Z's family belongs to the large Chinese diaspora community in Burma. When he was 16 years old, he was granted Taiwan government scholarship, emigrated from home and started high school education in Taichung, central Taiwan. Simultaneously he worked part-time as a waiter or construction worker. Afterwards he moved to Taipei to study design at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. In 2009 he participated in Taipei Golden Horse Film Academy - film workshop run by Hou Hsiao-hsien. Midi Z's film give unique insight into daily life in Burma and often are celebrated at international festivals. "Ice Poison" was an official Taiwanese candidate for the Oscar. Midi Z was a guest of Five Flavours Film Festival in 2013. 

Selected filmography:

2011 Powrót do Birmy / Gui lai de ren/ Return to Burma

2012 Biedni ludzie / Poor Folk

2014 Biała śmierć / Bing du / Ice Poison

2015 Kopalnie jadeitu / Wa yu shi de ren / Jade Miners

2016 Miast jadeitu / Fei cui zhi cheng / City of Jade

2016 Droga do Mandalay / Zai jian wan cheng / The Road to Mandalay

2018 Czternaście jabłek / 14 Apples

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