dead pigs release

Dead Pigs is the kind of directorial debut that declares a new voice is on the scene. “Pure” is a word that comes up in our conversation with filmmaker Cathy Yan, whose first feature-length film is just that. It called to mind a Danny Boyle quote, that first movies often represent your best work because you never know if you’ll get another shot, so why not try everything you’ve dreamed of seeing in a movie?

Dead Pigs plays exactly like that – an unfiltered dream. It has a strange magic to it. There are the dead pigs; skyscraper’s bright lights contrasted with the streets and country life; a heroine (played by Vivian Wu) in a lone house dedicated to respecting the past and fighting the future; and both a singalong and a wonderful reference to the 2006 film Step Up. Yan’s debut is inspiringly brazen and bursting with life and personality. That personal style made Yan’s sophomore effort, Birds of Prey, one of the hipper comic book movies in recent years.

Yan’s debut caught the eye of Margot Robbie, who was impressed by the scope of the characters and world Yan captured. “You can’t pull off a film in China for as little money as she had, and make it look so incredible, and still care about the characters more than anything,” Robbie said. “She just — in my mind — nailed it.”

After years of limbo, Dead Pigs is finally available to stream on Mubi today. We spoke to Yan about revisiting her debut film years after she shot it and the joy of having a movie that shows who she is finally out in the world.

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dead pigs trailer

Several years after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Cathy Yan‘s feature directorial debut Dead Pigs is finally getting a release in the United States. Yan’s movie first screened stateside in 2019, but it’s been absent from the U.S. until now, as the film is finally set to head to streaming service Mubi this Friday. Inspired by true events, Dead Pigs is billed as a “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 trailer has arrived ahead of the film’s streaming debut, and you can watch it below.

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dead pigs release

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.”

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