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TIFF 2021: “Terrorizers”


© Changhe Films

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

During mass shootings or public slashing, all that we do is watch the news. We don’t know what happens behind the headlines other than the names of the victims being given and those who attacked. But if we know much about the events that lead to the tragic day, will our perspective somehow change? Are we going to support an attacker or continue blaming him for such a senseless and horrendous action that is far from being called humane?

Screenplay by Ho Wi Ding, Natasha Sung and directed by Ho Wi Ding, “Terrorizers” follows around perpetrator Ming Liang (Austin Lin) and a highly disturbed young woman from a very rich family, who took the sword to attack people in a public mall. The film focuses on five characters Ming happened to cross paths with, to connect them with him all the way to the life-changing day. All lives will be shattered, destroyed and broken. Tears will come down. An act of revenge will take place. But once you know what happens, is it worth taking someone’s life?

Yu Fang (Moon Lee) studies acting while living with her powerful politician father. Yu Fang falls for Monica (Annie Chen), who wants to become a decent actress, but struggles to put her cam girl experience behind. Xiao Zhang (JC Lin) is a true gentleman, who wants to show his love for the love of his life, Yu Fang. Kiki (Pipi Yao), another victim, is in love with Ming Liang, who has someone else in mind. All of them will come together one way or another to relive a horrendous day, while Ming Liang is getting triggered each time like a spoiled child who won’t get his toy.

“Terrorizers” is an appropriate title for a film that is, in a way, controversial too. It’s intelligent, powerful and thought-provoking. Events such as the one described in the film happens everywhere. Therefore, it’s a risky subject matter for Ho Wi Ding to juggle with. Not to mention the ending of the film, rather the solution is highly debatable. So be prepared to be challenged, blown away and get angry. Because it is a normal and healthy reaction to a film such as this that does not pity anyone. Not even you.

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