Tuesday, December 16, 2014

“Ice Poison” Is a Dangerous Drug

By José Alberto Hermosillo.

“Ice Poison” is eye-opening, beautiful, realistic, hypnotic, and love story. It tackles important global issues such as migration, poverty, desperation, and drugs.  

The documentary style film is impressively well directed by Midi Z (“Return to Burma,” “Poor Folk”).

“Ice Poison” is the 2015 Best Foreign Language Film Official Entry from Taiwan, is the winner of the Best Picture Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Best Director at the Taipei Film Festival, the Official Selection at Tribeca, and part of the Panorama Section in the Berlin International Film Festival. 
In a farmland, people struggle to meet their ends. There are few options for the young ones: emigrate to a near by country or metropolitan area, work in a jade mine or try borrowing some money from a family member, which is near impossible as the entire community is immersed in poverty.

An old man decides to sell his cow to buy a scooter and send his son to work in the city as a taxi driver. But the city has its own poverty and many compete over the same job. After a while, the young driver picks up a Chinese girl on her way solo to her grandfather’s funeral – since this is a war time in her home region, her son and her brother couldn’t join her, leaving her alone in sadness and despair.  
One story takes us to the next in a harmonious, seamless structure. Then, both stories blend together thanks to the “Ice Poison,” a powerful synthetic stimulant drug that looks like crystal and gives to its users the courage and strength to do things that they are afraid of when they are sober. Suddenly, things like singing karaoke, falling in love, selling drugs and making money seem easy until they eventually collapse into a delirious state of mind.
Desperation and impoverishment can push ordinary citizens to sell drugs despite the some sometimes fatal consequences, and reminds the audience of the dangerous drug business that still prevails in Asia and throughout the world. 

“Ice Poison” shows a vivid reality that many people in the world are experiencing right now.

The co-production between Taiwan and Myanmar, “Ice Poison" or "Bing Du” uses a very humanistic approach to show how people cope and try to survive when there don’t seem to be any options, and how society has decomposed itself for the use of drugs. 

In spite of the heavy subject matter, “Ice Poison” is a beautiful and truthful film to watch for its well defined reality, a must see!
Copyright © 2014 Festival in LA

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