I Don't Want to Sleep Alone

I Don't Want to Sleep Alone/Hei yan quan (Malaysia/Taiwan, 2006, 115 mins.): Nominated for the coveted Golden Lion and winner of the Cinema for Peace Award at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (Hei yan quan) marks Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang’s cinematic return to the country of his birth. Set in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, the film traces the misadventures of an ethnic Chinese man who, after being beaten up by Malaysian crooks, is rescued and cared for by an Indian immigrant worker. The man soon develops a sexual relationship with a young woman, and the erotic tensions between the three deepen around an obsession over an abandoned mattress. In his trademark minimalist, observational realist style, Tsai’s film presents a hypnotic tale of unspoken desire and social alienation within the gritty spaces of a haze-enveloped Asian urban capitalist center. The taciturn Lee Kang-sheng stars again in this remarkable entry to Tsai Ming-liang’s now impressive oeuvre.

Note: I Don't Want to Sleep Alone will be introduced by Dr. Kenneth Chan, Assistant Professor of Film Studies.

Synopsis by Kenneth Chan