Two stories are intercut: In one, an old woman searches frantically for her missing grandson; in the other, a teenage boy’s grandfather disappears. Lee Kang-sheng’s The Missing is a sad and haunting film which builds very slowly to an obscure symbolic ending, making you want to watch it again right away in order to view it in a different light. While not quite living up to the standard of the best work of Lee’s esteemed mentor Tsai Ming-liang, The Missing is an admirable debut. The city of Taipei becomes an alienating dystopia in this minimalist directorial debut from Taiwanese actor Lee Kang-sheng. A grandmother loses her grandson in a park and spends the remainder of the day searching for him. Meanwhile, a troubled teenager’s grandfather similarly disappears. The two searchers wander the city until, eventually, their paths cross. The Missing shared the New Currents award with the Iranian film Tiny Snowflakes at the 2003 Pusan International Film Festival.
Directed by Kang-sheng Lee | Starring : Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao, Chang Chea, Chun Shih, Shiang-chyi Chen | Presented at Pusan Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Athens Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Flanders Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Ljubljana Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Bratislava Film Festival, Febio Film Festival