Poor Folk
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    Poor Folk

    Qiong Ren, Liu Lian, Ma Yao, Tou Du Ke

    Directed by

    Myanmar, Taiwan


    105 min

    • Mandarin
    • Thai

    Crime, Drama

    A gangster film that doesn’t look or feel like one, but like life itself. At least, life in the lawless border area between Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. A lively trade in drugs, young girls and other illegal things. With plenty of dreams and few winners. Midi Z is one of the most promising talents in Asian cinema. A year ago, he presented RETURN TO BURMA, a tragicomic film about a poverty-stricken country where everything revolves around money.

    POOR FOLK embroiders forth on this theme. The sister of protagonist A-Hong falls into the hands of human traffickers. He travels to Bangkok and starts life as a hustler. With other illegal Burmese, he rips off Chinese tourists and sells raw materials for amphetamines to heavily-armed gangsters. Once he earns enough money to buy his sister free, the trail leading to the traffickers has gone cold. Then he comes into contact with San Mei, a prostitute who mediates for the crooks in exchange for a promised residence permit. POOR FOLK has all the ingredients for a crime film, but is primarily about uprooting and alienation. In the lengthy wide-angle shots, sadness and unexpected humour always simmer under the surface.


    Wang Shin-hong
    Wu Ke-xi
    Zhao De-fu
    Zheng Meng-lan
    Midi Z.
    Midi Z.
    Sheng Wen Lin Midi Z.
    Sonic Deadhorse


    (...) the intertwining dramas of these displaced persons are engaging on a raw human level (...)

    Richard Kuipers, Variety

    Midi Z

    Midi Z


    When camera is on, reality is gone.

    Midi Z was born in 1982. He was raised in Myanmar, Burma, but trained as an artist in Taiwan. His graduation short PALOMA BLANCA was screened in numerous film festivals. In 2009, he was selected as the leading screenwriter and leading director in the Taipei Golden Horse Film Academy organized by Hou Hsiao-hsien. Produced by Hou Hsiao-hsien, Midi Z made a short fillm, HUA-XING INCIDENT. In 2011, he made his first feature film RETURN TO BURMA, which was selected by Busan Int’l Film Festival and premiered in Europe in the prestigious Tiger Awards Competition section of the 2012 Int’l Film Festival of Rotterdam. THE PALACE ON THE SEA has led to another Tiger Award nomination in 2014, this time for short films. Midi Z's ICE POISON (2014) won Best Film in Edinburgh and represented Taiwan at the Foreign Language Oscars. JADE MINERS (2015), his first documentary, screened at the Taipei International film Festval and at the Int’l Film Festival of Rotterdam, followed by CITY OF JADE which was selected at the Berlinale Forum 2016. He was awarded Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker in 2016 during the Golden Horse Awards to acknowledge his excellence in both feature film and documentary, as well as how his achievement broadens the horizon of Taiwanese cinema. His latest feature NINA WU (2019) is selected as part of Un Certain Regard at Festival de Cannes.

    Selected Filmography