A Brighter Summer Day (1991)
A Film by Edward Yang
2xDVD5 (LD-to-DVD) | ISO | NTSC 4:3 | 227 mins | 3,88 Gb + 3,60 Gb
Audio: Mandarin AC3 2.0 @ 256 Kbps | Subs: English and Chinese both hardcoded
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Slow, elliptical, and for the most part understated, Yang's masterly account of growing up in Taiwan at the start of the '60s is as visually elegant as his own Taipei Story and The Terroriser, and as epic in scope as Hou Hsiao Hsien's City of Sadness (which Yang produced). On the surface, it's about one boy's involvement in gang rivalry and violence (on which level, it's often a little obscure, so numerous are the characters) and his experience of young love. On a deeper level, however, it's about a society in transition and in search of an identity, forever aware of its isolation from mainland China, and increasingly prey to Americanisation. The measured pace may be off-putting, but stay with it - the accumulated wealth of detail invests the unexpected final scenes with enormous, shocking power.