Sanctuary

  • 83'
  • Malaysia
  • 2004
The story of Sanctuary is one that does not easily allow itself to be told. Lai sells toy guns at the market and spends his spare time gambling in pool halls. He lives with the sickly See, who spends her days doing monotonous copying work. See regularly goes to visit her grandpa, who maintains his distance for some unknown reason. Grandpa's main concern would appear to be looking after his old wife, who is in a home. Gradually, Ho exposes the real relationships between the characters. A realistic drama unfolds about alienation, identity and loneliness in Malaysia, a country that lies somewhere between tradition and modernity. A human confrontation that forces the characters to make inevitable and personal choices . Teoh Gay Hian's digital camera is often very close on the characters, but then it reverts to casual observation. With Sanctuary, Ho has succeeded in making a gripping and complex film with minimal means. Inventiveness is needed in a country where a serious film maker has to make ends meet by acting in commercials, but Ho's sober, lethargic and tranquil style of film making proves that he has a lot more to offer. In Sanctuary, Ho does not only emulate his sources of inspiration Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang; he also manages to equal them. (SdH)
Director
Ho Yuhang
Premiere
European premiere
Country of production
Malaysia
Production Year
2004
Festival Edition
IFFR 2005
Length
83'
Medium
DV cam PAL
Language
Mandarin
Producers
Doghouse 73 Pictures, Red Films, James Lee
Sales
Doghouse 73 Pictures
Screenplay
Ho Yuhang
Editor
Tan Chui Mui
Website
http://www.doghouse73pictures.com