A woman who has to deal with other people's problems for a living has more than a few of her own in this drama from Chinese filmmaker Liang Ying. Xiaofen works for a lawyer, cataloging the various complaints of his clients, from the marital discord of those needing representation in divorce cases to the gruesome details of medical malpractice lawsuits. As Xiaofen catalogs the woes of others, she can't help but ponder her own troubles: her boyfriend Deng Gang is a habitual gambler who only recently got out of jail and looks ready to fall prey to the cops again soon. Meanwhile, Xiaofen's mother insists on playing matchmaker for her daughter, fixing her up with a long series of painfully uninteresting men, and her father has reintroduced himself into her life, against Xiaofen's wishes. As Xiaofen's circumstances become increasingly chaotic, the outside world becomes similarly perilous, as a disaster at a chemical plant poisons the city and hundreds of people go missing during a hurried evacuation, including Deng Gang. The Other Half was screened in competition at the 2007 San Francisco International Film Festival.
by Mark Deming synopsis