Program

CITY OF SADNESS, A

Bei qing cheng shi

Hou Hsiao-hsien / Taiwan / 1989 / 159 min / Taiwanese, Japanese, Mandarin, Shanghainese, Cantonese with English subtitles / color / 35mm

Description

Free Screening + pre-screening reception at 5:30pm

Golden Lion, 1989 Venice Film Festival

Recently named the greatest Chinese-language film of all time by the Golden Horse Film Festival, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s A CITY OF SADNESS is a monument of world cinema by any measure, rewriting the rules of how to shoot violence, how to tell history, and how to stage a shot. It also changed the course of Taiwanese political history, daring to be the first work of mass culture to address the infamous “228 Incident and daring to remind the political dissidents and conservative stalwarts alike that in the end, a nation that suffers together will cry together. This is cinema at its most challenging, and most humane.

After the second world war, a patriarch and his sons are torn by economic gain, political possibility, and social inertia. The younger generation is released of Japan’s colonial grip, but is now lost in the dizzying centripetal forces of the transition from one colonizer to another: the Kuomintang government from the mainland. In this moment of confusion, there is money to be made, loyalties to be breached, and languages to be learned. Many will die. And then there is the deaf youngest brother, played by the great Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai, who has no voice but can be the quiet observer, the moral rock of family, love, and hope. Those left standing will go on to build the Taiwan we know today. – Brian Hu

Presented in a new 20th anniversary 35mm print.

Co-presented by: Taiwanese American Community Center

Credits


  • Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • Producer: Chiu Fu-sheng
  • Cinematographer: Chen Huai-en
  • Writer: Chu Tien-wen, Wu Nien-jen
  • Cast: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Chen Song-young, Li Tian-lu
  • Sound: Tu Duu-chih

Screenings

October 25, 2011 7:30 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas

Sponsors