Cast: Chang Yao-jen, Hsieh Tso-wu, Samantha Ko, Tsai Jia-yin
Audience Choice Award, 2019 Taipei Film Festival
Official Selection, 2019 Busan International Film Festival
Ying-juan, an aspiring chef who cooks for children at her mother’s daycare center, is given a gift from her mother for her 30th birthday: membership to a weight loss program. “You’re so out of shape,” her mother argues, “who would want you to plan the menu?” Facing continual challenges because of her weight, from being called “Ms. Dinosaur” to local boys throwing eggs at her, Ying-juan reluctantly gives in and joins the program.
Her journey attracts unexpected friends and awkward laughs, but it certainly is not easy. Ying-juan pushes to the point where she makes an irrevocable decision that costs her dearly. Along the way, she crosses paths with Wu, a handsome young delivery man, and Xiao-Yu, a quiet boy from the daycare center. Both harbor secrets that reflect Ying-juan’s own internal struggle to accept herself, and the price that must be paid for the seeming safety of conforming to societal norms.
Director-writer Hsieh Pei-ju has created a raw portrait of how vulnerable we are to the perception that others hold of us, and the dark side of pursuing self-improvement. HEAVY CRAVING is about the hunger we all carry for love and happiness, and what happens when we try to satiate it by sacrificing ourselves for someone else’s idea of who we should be.