In Theaters 05.01.2021 or Watch at Home 06.18.2021

Dead Pigs

Directed by Cathy Yan
Film Movement
122 Minutes
China, USA
Mandarin, English
Comedy, Drama, Family, Asian
Not Rated

The fates of an unlucky pig farmer, a feisty home-owner defending her property, a lovestruck busboy, a disenchanted rich girl, and an American expat pursuing the Chinese Dream converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs are found floating down the Huangpu River, towards a modernizing Shanghai in Cathy Yan's (BIRDS OF PREY) debut feature.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Cathy Yan
  • Starring: Zazie Beetz
  • Starring: Mason Lee
  • Starring: Meng Li
  • Starring: Vivian Wu
  • Starring: David Rysdahl
  • Starring: Archibald C. McColl IV




  • "Equally darkly funny, strange and enthralling, Dead Pigs announces Cathy Yan as a director worthy of our attention."
    Courtney Small, Cinema Axis
  • "Thoroughly enjoyable, "Dead Pigs" arises as the origin chapter of a great storyteller and an opportune mosaic of people in a rapidly transforming superpower."
    Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times
  • "A bold social satire that never loses its sense of fun, Dead Pigs finally lets us confirm what Birds Of Prey already suggested: Cathy Yan has a sharp eye and a fearless voice - we're lucky to have her."
    Ella Kemp, Empire Magazine
  • "Cathy Yan's delightful, spiky, comic antidote to China’s weightier arthouse output, settling the stomach after too much stolid social realism, effervescent as an alka-seltzer."
    Jessica Kiang, Variety
  • "Cathy Yan’s first feature is a dark, quirky comedy that peels back the layers of contemporary Mainland mores and reveals a group of people almost completely deracinated by their quest to get ahead in a society buffeted by rapidly shifting cultural expectations. Genially offbeat and broadly relatable...."
    Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
  • "Demonstrating a light touch — underscored by a whimsy-leaning score and overtly comic moments, but never delving into flimsiness or farce — Yan handles her chosen topic, and the tapestry of tales it’s woven through, with care. "
    Sarah Ward, Screen Daily
  • "Dead Pigs is a stylish and irreverent social satire about greed, progress and the loss of values in Asia’s behemoth."
    Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia
  • "It's a film that keeps on peeling back layers and which ultimately feels rather touching in its unstereotypical view of humanity. Here, no-one is what they initially seem and there is hope for them all."
    Emma Simmonds, The List
  • "Dead Pigs is Cathy Yan’s first feature, but its remarkable acuity marks the debut of a formidable filmmaker. Evoking the warm, chaotic spirit of early Zhang Yimou works like The Story of Qiu Ju, Yan’s film follows the intertwined stories of four Shanghai natives and one Western expat as dead pigs suddenly appear floating on the Yangtze River. "
    John Lopez, Departures
  • "A unique and idiosyncratic work which served to put an exciting filmmaker firmly on the map."
    Tom Beasley, Flickering Myth
  • "A work of ebullient satire and quietly stirring humanism, as well as a trenchant study of China’s frenetic modernization as a horror show in progress, one that’s every bit the equal of America’s own late-capitalist nightmare."
    Isaac Feldberg, The Playlist
  • "Dead Pigs's intermingling of grit and polish is hugely satisfying: a potent combination of pearls and swine."
    Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph
  • "Dead Pigs is a charming, quirky, and unique directorial debut from Cathy Yan and is another sign of her promising future in cinema."
    Lewis Knight, Daily Mirror