Before she made Birds of Prey, Cathy Yan made her feature debut with Dead Pigs, a film that premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Despite high praise at Sundance, Dead Pigs was never released domestically (it did open in China in 2019, though). Now that’s finally going to change, with a Dead Pigs release exclusive to the streaming service Mubi. Per the official announcement, the film “speaks to our universal struggle with identity in the age of globalization, its diverse voices reflecting the future of American cinema – as it deals with prescient and timely conversations around equality, capitalism, and basic human connection in an increasingly divided world.”
When Cathy Yan was announced as the director of Birds of Prey there was a lot of talk about her feature debut, Dead Pigs. But there was one big problem: the film had never been released here in the United States, even though it premiered at Sundance in 2018. While the film got a release in China in 2019, it remained elusive in America and elsewhere. Now, that’s about to change thanks to Mubi.
The streaming service that caters primarily to arthouse cinema has announced they will be the exclusive streaming home of Dead Pigs starting on February 12, 2021. Here’s the Dead Pigs synopsis:
Based on remarkable true events, DEAD PIGS is a bitingly humorous social satire about the trials and tribulations connecting a disparate group of characters as thousands of dead pigs mysteriously float down river towards a rapidly modernizing Shanghai, China. A universal human story set against the backdrop of globalization, drastic social change and increasing wealth inequality, the film is the masterful first feature of exciting filmmaker Cathy Yan (BIRDS OF PREY), and stars an international ensemble including Vivian Wu (Away, The Last Emperor, The Joy Luck Club), Mason Lee (Lucy, The Hangover Pt II), Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Nine Days), Meng Li (The Bad Kids, The Guillotines, Young Love Lost), Haoyu Yang (The Wandering Earth), and David Rysdahl (The Family, Nine Days).
When Dead Pigs premiered it Sundance it took home the Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting. When asked how the idea for the film came about, Yan replied: “I used to be a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, so I’ve always been really interested in true stories, specifically [in] China. I was born in China, but raised in the U.S. and would go back to China every year, so when I read about this real dead pigs incident, it just immediately drew me in.”
Yan is currently developing the film Sour Hearts for A24.
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