The White Girl (2017)

The White Girl
Director: Jenny Suen, Christopher Doyle
Writer: Christopher Doyle, Jenny Suen
Cast: Angela Yuen, Jeff Yiu, Tony Tsz-Tung Wu, Joe Odagiri
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 24.10.2017

The White Girl (Angela Yuen) is allergic to sunlight. She lives with her father in a very sheltered home but her reclusive existence, so far only interrupted by her friend Ho Zai (Jeff Yiu), is opened a little with the arrival of Sakamoto (Joe Odagiri), a mysterious stranger who fasincates The White Girl – and vice versa.

The White Girl has a fantastic soundtrack and some very strong moments, but it didn’t take off quite as much as I would have liked.

The film is at its strongest when it’s actually being funny – and there were quite a few funny moments, making me wish that the filmmakers had opted to do an outright comedy. Instead they wanted to do a poetic film and the impressionistic lyricism works at times, but more often than not, it felt a little shallow to me.

That being said, the film does have a nice atmosphere, the visuals are great (I guess it pays to have a cinematographer go into directing as is the case with Christopher Doyle) and the ruin where they shot a lot of the film is simply an awesome location. Plus, the soundtrack is brilliant.

Despite those many strengths, the film didn’t manage to hold my attention for its entire duration. Although that might also be just because they decided to cook the audience in the cinema – it was unbearably hot (so much so that they actually had to call an ambulance for one of the guests who had trouble breathing. They were nice enough to wait for the endcredits with it) (of course, I don’t believe they actually waited). Since it was so uncomfortable, any movie was bound to feel much longer than it was.

Maybe at some point I’ll get the chance to see it again and I can imagine that I will like it better on second watching in bearable temperatures. But I have to admit, that I didn’t like the film so much that I’m overly motivated to go looking for it.

Summarizing: has many strengths but doesn’t quite come together for me.

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