Narrates the tale of Shiao’s rocky journey as he passes from innocence to experience. Intelligent but flawed, the adolescent boldly navigates the perilous waters of young love, juvenile delinquency and family crises, and all the while Taiwanese society struggles to evolve with the changing times.
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This and KUEI-MEI, A WOMAN would make a great double bill. They are both not only proof that episodic films can work, but are essential for certain narratives. Hou and Yang were not the only masters of the Taiwanese new cinema.
Considered one of the pearls of eighties Taiwanese cinema, and rightly so. They had such a fine way with these kinds of films: the family saga set in tumultuous times, the painful growing up of the children and the nation. Growing up! What poignance and simple beauty in these films, what freshness and charm - and what agony and bitterness. Heartbroken, exhausted, and bitter, the lot of them.