Understated early work wherein Hou demonstrates the tools of his unique brand of slow cinema. Long still takes of the kitchen repeat with slight variations, always in mind of action in the fore and back ground. Abstractions of time and off screen drama. 88/100 - Excellent (4.5)
4K restoration. Divorced from any cultural context (because it’s a context with which I’m not very familiar), you still see a larger narrative movement told in the micro, and what would otherwise be a ‘supporting’ character pushed to the fore. The ‘plot points’ become non-events, and the subsequent fallout becomes the narrative.
Aside from being a remarkable film in its own right (and one that would portend things to come), I think DAUGHTER OF THE NILE looks especially fascinating when you think of it as a movie that leads from the transition already being made between A TIME TO LIVE, A TIME TO DIE and the extremely underrated DUST IN THE WIND. DAUGHTER takes things even further in terms of visual vocabulary and general sophistication.
Over the years I actually think 'Daughter of the Nile' is one of Hou's best films. The problem I think most people have stems from the false criteria they enforce onto it - unlike most of his earlier/middle work, 'Daughter of the Nile' is not about generational contrast, nor is it about two generations conflicting with each other - it's actually about one generation conflicting with its self..