Dead Pigs

Director: Cathy Yan
Screenwriters: Cathy Yan

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting

A mysterious stream of pig carcasses floats silently toward China’s populous economic hub, Shanghai. As authorities struggle to explain the phenomenon, a down-and-out pig farmer with a youthful heart struggles to make ends meet, while an upwardly mobile landowner fights gentrification against an American expat seeking a piece of the Chinese dream. Meanwhile, a romantic busboy hides his job from his father, while a rich young woman struggles to find her independence. Like a mosaic, their stories intersect and converge in a showdown between human and machine, past and future, brother and sister.

Observing modern China through a humanist lens, Cathy Yan’s feature debut revels in watching its characters discover their place within the fissures that arise when a status-obsessed society is forced to reckon with the meaning of success. Cleverly connecting China’s social stratum with intergenerational narratives, Dead Pigs searches for connection in a constantly changing landscape, delving into how to find fulfilment when the distance between us and our loved ones grows greater every day.

— H.C.

Screening Details

  • Section: World Cinema Dramatic Competition
  • Film Type: DRAMF - Dramatic Feature
  • Country: China
  • Language: English and Mandarin/Shanghainese
  • Run Time: 130 min.

Sundance Film Festival Awards


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