Fresh Kill - web
Fresh Kill - web

Presented by MIFF

Fresh Kill

Shu Lea Cheang | USA | 1994 | R18+

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Fri 4 Aug 2023

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Radical lesbians, radioactive fish lips and toxic cat food collide in this avant-garde sci-fi – a transgressive landmark of anarcho-satire and queer hacktivism.

In a post-apocalyptic New York City that has become a toxic waste dump, Claire and Shareen (Mississippi Masala’s Sarita Choudhury) find themselves caught in a sinister conspiracy when their young daughter eats some contaminated fish, begins to glow with a radioactive sheen and suddenly vanishes. Could it be the doing of an ominous multinational corporation waging war on the working class? Who are the chaotic cable-TV hosts hawking sex toys with baby heads? And can a sushi chef turned hacker disrupt the system and help the marginalised fight back?

Taiwanese-born multimedia artist Shu Lea Cheang’s wickedly funny, fiercely political debut helped to popularise the then-novel term ‘hacktivism’ upon its release in 1994 yet remains an underseen work of queer feminism – one whose whiplash rhythms and channel-surfing collage anticipate the splintered media landscape of our present. A tale of ghost ships, green cats and dreamlike erotica, Fresh Kill is a visionary work that mixes camp humour with radical dissertations on gender, climate, class and race.

This screening will be introduced by film critic Phoebe Chen (Artforum, Film Comment), and a panel discussion will follow the film.

A lethal comedy swimming through a torrent of toxic multinational treachery … [in] a trippy, extra-literary dimension, where Jorge Luis Borges’ search for his ‘Dreamtiger’ intersects with lesbian-erotic flights into cyberspace.

BOMB Magazine

Event duration

80 mins




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