In this, his directorial debut, actor Chen Jianbin plays Latiaozi, an honest goat farmer. One day, in a simple act of kindness and compassion, he gives a young homeless man some food. The youth, who is filthy, apparently mentally retarded and who wears a large broken red visor on his head, follows Latiaozi home. Fearful that the idiot will freeze to death, Latiaozi and his wife reluctantly agree that he should be allowed to sleep in the hut with the sheep.
This development further complicates the life of Latiaozi and his wife, whose son is in jail. They have already given $50,000 dollars (most certainly a subtitle error, as there's no way they could have amassed that amount in U.S. currency) to an intermediary to get the son's sentence reduced. Thus far they have nothing to show for the money they've spent.
The couple's efforts to find the young man's family ultimately bring them in contact with a parade of individuals, each of whom claim that the boy is their relative. Latiaozi's best intentions turn against him as he and his wife are beset with numerous financial claims from these greedy individuals.
A Fool, part drama, part black comedy, raises the question of who, in a world of greed and grifters, is it a kind, honest person who's actually the fool.
AsianCineFest Rating: 3 out of 4 stars; a good film, well-made and thought-provoking
A Fool will be the first film shown at this year's New York Asian Film Festival. Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York, Friday's screening is part of HONG KONG PANORAMA, a special focus portion of NYAFF.
The full schedule for NYAFF 2015 can be found here.