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Taiwan, 1991
Directed by Edward Yang
Written by Hung Hung, Lai Ming-tang, Alex Yang, Edward Yang
Starring Chen Chang, Lisa Yang, Chang Kuo-chu, Elaine Jin, Chuan Wang
Approx. 237 min. DCP.

“At the center of A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY is S’ir (Chang Chen), a kid from a good home finding himself increasingly mixed up with the wrong crowd. To frame this as the Taiwanese REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE is hardly a stretch. The year is 1960, and the families that fled Mao Zedong in 1949 are now past the point of pretending that they are ever headed back to the mainland. The ‘unknown little island,’ as a character refers to their home, is doing the double duty of absorbing the new population and finding its feet as a political hot potato. Tanks occasionally roll down docile neighborhood streets with little discussion about where they are coming from or where they are headed. The local people play Japanese music, to the consternation of their neighbors from the mainland, though the kids, just by anti-communist inertia, become increasingly obsessed with rock ’n’ roll.” – Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

“More Carmen than Romeo and Juliet, the film offers a tender representation of ill-fated teenage love. At one point, a character refers to War and Peace, and Yang’s film reveals no less ambition than Tolstoy’s epic novel, but on a much smaller scale.” – David Pendleton, Harvard Film Archive notes


“A powerful statement from Yang’s generation about what it means to be Taiwanese”
– Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

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