The Post-Truth World (罪後真相/Zui Hou Zhen Xiang) – Movie Review

TL;DR – A compelling tale of murder and coverup, where there are many potential suspects, and in the end, the truth might be the biggest casualty.     

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

The computer monitor.

The Post-Truth World Review

One of the most essential topics in modern times is the notion of truth and whether we can find it in our news anymore. Can you trust what you see in the news, read in the papers, or skim from the internet? With people yelling fake news at everything, how can you find the real in all the noise? Does the media care about the truth or just a narrative that can sell papers or subscriptions? It is within these questions we find our film today.  

So to set the scene, it is 2012, and all the bases are loaded, as a stadium dresses in yellow to support their team. As the game plays out below, different people’s lives start intersecting and collapsing. It is here where Zhang Zheng-yi (Edward Chen) walks out covered in blood, the blood of his now-dead girlfriend Wang Shi-yun (Tzu Hsuan Chan) and is promptly arrested and incarcerated for life. In 2019, Chang escaped jail by luring Liu Li-min (Joseph Chang), a journalist who ran the popular Dissecting the Society program back in 2012 and was at the stadium at the time of the murder. Today Li-min is trying to get a new title, True Standpoint, off the ground, and the biggest story of the year just kidnapped him. As the city begins a manhunt for Li-min, it is a moment of reflection on whether the truth matters.        

An escaped murderer.
Does truth matter anymore? Image Credit: Netflix.

One thing I found surprising was how much I warmed to Joseph Chang’s Liu Li-min as the film went on. At the start, he is, at best, someone who has lost his place in the world after the death of his wife, Xu Ya-jing (Aviis Zhong) and struggling to find himself again. Or, at worse, he is just an arse. But he has this ability to walk the finest line between being a smug prick and also a charismatic champion. While he is chasing the story, there is always a question of his motivation, which makes a compelling drive for a narrative where not everything is what it seems.

Edward Chen is deeply sympathetic as our maybe antagonist Zhang Zheng-yi. There is a drive to everything he does that could be a need for justice, or he could be an unhinged murderer back on the streets. There are many of these dualities throughout the film, and it does an excellent job of not revealing its hand too quickly or reaching conclusions that feel forced. Indeed, the entire supporting cast is here, and I don’t think it would have worked without that commitment.  

A journalist investigates.
Do you care if justice is done? Image Credit: Netflix.

At the heart of this narrative is a good old-fashioned murder mystery. However, it is only a mystery if you accept Zheng-yi’s story that he was not the one who killed her. A good story has to have layers. Add in a mistrusting family, a suspicious sister, possibly incompetent police, drugs, unreliable witnesses, and people getting bought off, and you have everything you need for a compelling narrative. As we make our way through this film, we take many twists and turns, with many candidates for the murderer being put forward. I think that was also helped by what I would call almost a playful camera at times, with the opening shot into the stadium being deeply compelling, bringing you into this world.

Given they called the film The Post-Truth World, with the direct translation being “Truth after crime,” I expected an exciting exploration of how truth is manipulated. Well, we got it. This film is full of corporate pressure, online trolling, chasing subscribers, and selective editing. While I am not sure it ever reached the level of analysis hinted about in the title, it was a core component of the film and tied very well into the conclusion. It was also full of quandaries with no clear right option, a world of grey masquerading as a world of black and white.     

A man kidnaps a child.
There are many suspects. Image Credit: Netflix.

In the end, do we recommend The Post-Truth World? While I was a bit hesitant at the start, the more the film went on, the more I found myself getting sucked into this story. Each new revelation made me wonder about everything we had heard before and where we were going next. If you liked The Post-Truth World, we would recommend to you The Dry.  

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched The Post-Truth World?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us
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Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Post-Truth World
Directed by
– If Chen
Story by – Nai-Ching Yeh
Screenplay by – Nai-Ching Yeh & Yen-Chiao Huang
Music by – Varqa Buehrer
Cinematography by – Ming Wang
Edited by – Kipo Lin
Production/Distribution Companies – Bole Film & Netflix
Starring – Chang Hsiao-Chuan, Edward Chen, Caitlin Fang, Aviis Zhong with Xinya An, Shih Chih-Tian, Wang En-Yong, Nina Yeh, Zhu Yi Ming, Yu-Tien Ho, Huang Hao-Yung, Wen Ji-Xing, Chang Bai-Hui, Wang Lansen, Shih Chih-Tian, Yeats Yen, Wu Zhi-Xuan & Xie Zhang-Ying and Zhang Ting Wei, Kingkiat Limpongsatorn & Brandon.    
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; Germany: 16; New Zealand: R; United Kingdom: 15; United States: R

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