Yee Chih-yen (Blue Gate Crossing) directs City of Lost Things, telling the story of Leaf, a teenager who feels the emotional crush of the pressures of his life. Broken and angry, Leaf accidentally stumbles into a world populated by discarded trash where he befriends Baggy. Baggy is an plastic bag dreaming of being seen as something more. The City of Lost Things is a trap for Leaf. So, Baggy enlists him to help him fight the machines keeping them hostage. Leaf does this even if isn’t sure that his old life is worth fighting for.
Yee Chih-yen’s film features beautiful animation. It creates a world that highlights the beauty of these lost items in the midst of their bleak existence. In this way, with an eye on those that society ignores, City is a cry to recognize the value of the invisible. With hatred for his home and everyday life, Leaf feels lost everywhere he goes. When he arrives in the City of Lost Things, he immediately believes that he has found a home. Viewing himself as trash as well, Leaf immediately feels a kinship with the pieces of junk that have been thrown away and wants to stay.
However, the junk itself feels otherwise. To [most of] them, banishment to the world of refuse is the least desirable option. Led by an impetuous plastic bag, these discarded items know their value. Though they seem unwanted by the human world, they understand that they deserve better and yearn to escape. Operating as a metaphor for the plight of the millions of people who call the streets their home, City speaks to the importance of each one of these lost souls and the damage a society inflicts when it chooses to treat people as less than human.