With a singular voice that distinguishes him from his New Taiwan Cinema contemporaries, Lin Cheng-sheng adds to his brief, but already remarkable, filmography with Sweet Degeneration, his third film in two years. As with A Drifting Life and Murmur of Youth, Lin’s new film delicately unfolds, gradually building to a climax of stunning emotional reverberations. Drawn from a particularly painful episode in the director’s past, Sweet Degeneration delves into the uneasy bonds a brother and sister have with each other and the people around them. Upon his return home from his mandatory military service, Chun-shen steals money from his embittered father and sets out for Taipei with half-hearted hopes of finding a job playing the sax. Instead of pursuing his music career, the perpetually apathetic Chun-shen finds it easier to squander his money on cheap hotel rooms and prostitutes. Meanwhile, back home, his sister Ju-feng, who is going through a painful separation from her husband, pines for her brother. She is determined to bring him back into the family fold, whether he wants to come or not.
Directed by Cheng-sheng Lin | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Jing Tseng, Leon Dai, Shiang-chyi Chen, Shih-huang Chen | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival