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TIFF Review: Baby

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While working at a hospital as a janitor Meng attempts to save a baby with the same genetic disorder as she has no matter the consequences.

A former foster child Meng (Yang Mi) runs into trouble working for the same agency that found her a home when she accuses a foster parent of misappropriating funds.  In an effort to payback the government subsidies given to her, Meng finds work at a hospital as a janitor and encounters a baby girl with a genetic disorder that she also has being denied medical care by her parents.  Out of desperation and frustration Meng revolts against the institutional bureaucracy and the strict procedural attitude of local law enforcement officers in order to a save life.

Yang Mi portrays Meng with a quietness that conveys a sense of sadness and determination.  The documentary style of cinematographer Florian J.E. Zinke emphasizes the loneliness and disenfranchisement of the protagonist.  The colours are allowed to bleed at times adding grittiness to the atmosphere.   An interesting choice by filmmaker Liu Jie is having two societal misfits finding solace in each other and not having the conventional fashion model good looks.  The story is a slow burn which makes what happens contemplative and disturbing as the audience absorbs the bleakness and indifference of society towards those not considered to be normal.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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