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The Bird People in China Details


One of Japan's hottest young directors, Takashi Miike directs this curious adventure story set in China's picturesque Yunnan province. Workaholic Tokyo salaryman Wada (Masashiro Motoki) ventures into deepest, darkest China to investigate a massive deposit of high-quality jade. Tailing him is Ujiie (Renji Ishibashi), a snarling yakuza hell-bent on getting Wada's company to repay its debts. Led by their unflappable guide, Shun (Mako), the two go through rural villages and striking landscapes, quickly leaving behind all signs of the 20th century. As the trail grows narrower and more remote and as they brave gales, bugs, and floods, the long simmering tension between Wada and Ujiie bursts into full-scale contempt. One night, after Shun gets blind drunk, he hits his head and loses his memory. Now completely lost, the trio stumbles upon a hill tribe, whose children are adorned with wings made from bamboo and paper. Their teacher, a blue-eyed woman named Yan (Li Li Wang), tells them that she is teaching them to fly. Wada quickly becomes obsessed with this curious local. After she tells him that she has a book on human-powered flight and that her grandfather was a downed British airman, he almost believes that she can teach her students to soar. Soon Wada feels purged from the evils of city life while Ujiie decides to dedicate his life to protecting the village. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

  • Release date:June 10, 1998


Masahiro Motoki
as Wada
Renji Ishibashi
as Ujiie
as Shen
Wang Li Li
as Yan


Takashi Miike
Toshiaki Nakazawa
Makoto Shiina
Book Author
Masa Nakamura
Hideo Yamamoto
Koji Endo
Composer (Music Score)
Taiji Shimamura
Toshiaki Nakazawa
Executive Producer