Heavy Craving

Da E

Heavy Craving

Hsieh Pei-Ju

»In cinema, we do not see different types of bodies, especially for women we only see slim, with perfect bodies, but this is not real life. In real life, we have different kind of people and I feel we should show them more on screen.«
Hsieh Pei-ju

Lizzo and Petrunya have a sister in mind: Ying-juan is 30 and an outstanding cook with an odd sense of humour. She still lives at home and works as a cook at the kindergarten run by her ambitious and disciplined mother. In this early-learning space populated by tiny human beings, she appears like a fish out of water: she weighs 105 kilos, which is the only thing most people see in her. For a long time, Ying-juan manages to shrug off people’s spiteful glances and offers of diet plans. But once her mother threatens her career by suggesting parents are unhappy having her of all people planning their children’s healthy diets, she caves in and embarks on a »weight management plan«. Emotional support comes from her friendships with smart courier driver Wu, who hides his own eating disorder behind faux smiles and shy but clever Xiao-yu, a boy who dreams of wearing dresses. However, her radical diet turns out to be bad news for her sense of taste and enjoyment of life, culminating in a spectacular battle between her down-to-earth personality and body normativity’s promises of happiness.

Da E is a fast-paced, technicolour tragicomic tale that touches upon many questions. To what extent are we influenced by how other people see us? How insidious are the capitalist promises of salvation offered up by the self-optimisation industry? And what are we willing to sacrifice in return for satisfying our need for love and happiness?

Awards for Heavy Craving
Best New Talent Award (Tsai Jia-yin) – Taipei Film Festival 2019 | Audience Choice Award – Taipei Film Festival 2019

Director / Script

Hsieh Pei-ju


Chang Hao-jan


Tang Yi-fei


Lin Hung-tao


Tsai Jia-yin, Samantha Ko, Yao Chang,
Chang En-wei, William Hsieh, Lene Lai


Wang Jing, E. N. Lee, While Films, Sunshine and Moonlight



Portrait of Hsieh Pei-Ju

Hsieh Pei-Ju

Hsieh earned her Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University. She is one of the directors of Ten Years Taiwan, a collection of short films that was produced for Busan International Film Festival.

Films by Hsieh Pei-ju
Ten Years Taiwan 2018 | Holothurian 2014 | Knighthood 2013