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Alifu, the Prince/ss

Country: Taiwan, Language: Chinese, 97 mins

  • Director: Yu-Lin Wang
  • Writer: Yu-Lin Wang; Hui-Ling Chen; Hua-Chien Hsu; Juliana Hsu; Bai Rong Hua
  • Producer: Chi-Kang Liu; Gene Yao

CGiii Comment

Alifu has one teeny-weeny wee kind of creaks under its own weight. It's a very ambitious film in its scope...but, too many complex storylines detract from the main focus...Alifu, herself.

As a tribal heir, he is expected to take over as the ruling patriarch. She, on the other hand, has a slightly different idea. It's a fascinating premise...however, the trailer basically ruins the whole film! Do not watch the trailer!!!

Too many writers can spoil a is the case here. There are - quite possibly and potentially - three different [intriguing and interesting] feature-length stories within this one film. Sadly, they all suffer from a severe dose of short shrift...which is a crying shame...because, there are moments when you just want the story to go further...because, the character is so utterly engrossing...Bamboo Chen, as Sherry, deserved a film on her own!

This could have been Taipei's [much better] version of Tales of the City - Yu-Lin Wang should consider adapting and expanding the film into a mini-series. Because, the story-lines are that good!

There's humour aplenty...and, agony and pain and frustration...and, with that ongoing, never-ending battle between modernity and tradition...viewers should have been glued to the screen. Let us regard Alifu [the movie] as a preamble to the mini-series. It - seriously - has got to be made...can't wait to be glued to the screen!


The(ir) Blurb...

Alifu, a 25 year-old Paiwan boy, works as a hair-dresser in Taipei. Alifu struggles between his dream of getting a sex change operation and inheriting as the chief of the Paiwan tribe. His lesbian roommate/co-worker, Pei-Zhen, is also his best friend. Sherry, a transgender man, is the owner of a drag queen bar. For years, she's been in love with the plumber, Wu. Even though Sherry has been selflessly treating Wu with kindness, Wu only sees him as his buddy. Chris, a government worker, lives a dull life. A one-time gig as a drag queen in the bar unexpectedly became his only way to relief stress. He has been performing there ever since. Chris is keeping this gig a secret from his girlfriend, Angie, who works as a piano instructor. Between the different race, gender, and problems, the only common ground is -- love.

Cast & Characters

Utjung Tjakivalid as Alifu (as Chris Wu Chiung-En);
Yi-lan Chao as Li Pei-zhen;
Pong Fong Wu as Wu;
Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen as Sherry;
Jen-Shuo Cheng as Chris;
Angie Wang as Angie;
Parangalan as Chief Dakanao;
Celia Chang