A City of Sadness
悲情城市 | 1989 | Taiwan | Dir. Hou Hsiao-hsien | 160 min | 35mm
he 3rd London East Asia Film Festival presents the 35mm version of Director Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness as a part of the strand, Cinematic Journey Through Taiwan.
As Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s voice on the radio announces surrender at the end of the Pacific War, the mistress of the oldest brother in the Lin family gives birth to a son. In the little mountain town of Jiufeng outside Taipei, fifty years of Japanese colonialism is coming to an end. Of the three other Lin brothers, one has been lost fighting for Japan in the war, one has returned shell-shocked and unbalanced, and the youngest, a deaf-mute (Tony Leung), works as a photographer. Initial celebrations soon turn sour as the new Chinese government turns out to be corrupt and incompetent. After the local protests on 28 February 1947, martial law is imposed. The family’s fortunes track Taiwan’s downward spiral into the era of the White Terror and the Cold War.
Text source and photocredit: London East Asia Film Festival LEAFF