The Hole uses an enigmatic symbolic language to explore social alienation in the bleak cityscapes of contemporary Taiwan. Seven days before the turn of the millennium, a rain-sodden Taipei City is under siege by a mysterious virus. Symptoms include fever and an acute photophobia that drives sufferers to scuttle like cockroaches in search of dark, isolated hiding places. As a result of ‘Taiwan Fever’ sections of the city are quarantined and their essential services cut off by the government. The film is set in an apartment block in a quarantine zone where residents, played by Lee Kang-Sheng and Yang Kuei-Mei, remain in defiance of quarantine regulations. Yang’s apartment, directly below Lee’s, develops a leak and a plumber in search of the leaking pipe bores a hole in Lee’s floor and Yang’s ceiling. The hole that now joins the two apartments is large enough to see through, and Yang and Lee develop an ambivalent, wordless relationship as a result of their new proximity. Yang succumbs to the virus, and in the final scene, Lee’s arm extends through the hole in her ceiling, offering her a glass of water. Finally, Yang grasps Lee’s arm and is lifted through the hole into the brightly lit offscreen space of Lee’s apartment.
Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Kuei-Mei Yang, Tien Miao, Hui-Chin Lin, Hsiang-Chu Tong | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, London Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Febio Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Athens Film Festival