Film Review: Sheep Without a Shepherd

Corruption is rampant in many countries. Indeed, it’s rife in the Developing and Third Worlds where there aren’t necessarily the checks and balances we’ve become accustomed to in more ‘advanced’ societies. In totalitarian regimes there is almost no recourse to justice for the ordinary citizen. Even in many so-called democracies people in positions of power routinely use it for their own personal gain . This is the case in Sam Quah’s new film Sheep Without a Shepherd.

Weijie (Yang Xiao), a Chinese immigrant, is firmly integrated into the community of a town in northern Thailand. He and his wife Ayu (Zhuo Tan) are eager to give his daughters (Wenshan Xu and Xiran Zhang) every chance in life. At a summer camp, Pingping, the eldest, meets Suchat (Bian Tianyang), the privileged son of a police chief (Joan Chen) and an election candidate. He drugs and rapes her and when the family fights back Weijie puts his love of movies to good use to create the perfect alibi.

Sheep Without a Shepherd is an immersive cat and mouse thriller which places the spotlight on the power which corrupts. Based on an Indian cinema sensation (Drishyam), Quash’s film was unsurprisingly a box office smash in China. And you can see why. It’s a strong story and who doesn’t love to root for the underdog? It’s also well made and acted. Sheep Without a Shepherd is an intelligent and clever drama.

Sheep Without a Shepherd is released in cinemas by Trinity Cine Asia on 21 August.

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