Film Review: The Rice Bomber

By Joy Chiang Ling

The Rice Bomber, directed by Cho Li, is a Taiwanese political drama that focuses on the struggles that farmers face under an oppressive government.

Starting in May 1988, the film’s protagonist, Yang Ju-men (Huang Chien-wei) lives in Changhua county with his mentally handicapped younger brother, Yang Tung-tsai (Michael Chang). Together with their family, they protest against then president Lee Tung-hui for his unfair legislation against farmers, but to no avail. Years later, Ju-men meets his childhood friend, “Troublemaker” (Nikki Hsieh), who claims to be a revolutionary, and an impoverished aboriginal boy (Yang Peng-yu). What ensues is a scheme to disrupt the government and bring attention to the plight of the rural working-class.

Thanks largely to the film’s photography director, Jo Yong-gyu, The Rice Bomber boasts colorful visuals and cinematography. Taiwan’s countryside is beautifully captured, which helps redeem the film for its somewhat lackluster plot. The story, which intends to be political, fails to provide the drama and excitement typical of the genre. Ju-men never develops into a passionate enough political figure, and his self-proclaimed “revolutionary” friend never does enough to support the cause. What results is a rather dull tale about a man who has reason to be angry at the government, but whose actions only manage to scratch the surface of the problem.

Avatar photo

About AsianInNY is New York’s leader in Asian networking and a multi-cultural entertainment site. AsianInNY has established itself as the premier social and cultural authority for Asians in New York City. AsianInNY maintains the highest standards in providing reliable online content and producing live offline events. AsianInNY seeks to inspire, educate, and connect our community, using a versatile platform that engages our audience via a multi-layered digital presence that showcases the best of New York City. Our pages are updated daily with a rich cultural mix of news, events, interviews, and more. AsianInNY: Connect with Everything Asian!