7.8/10
1,589
12 user 14 critic

Tóngnián wangshì (1985)

| Biography, Drama | 1988 (USA)
The semi-autobiographical film on director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's childhood and adolescence, when he was growing up in Taiwan, living through the deaths of his father, mother and grandmother.

Director:

Reviews
8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A-yuan and A-yun are both from the small mining town of Jio-fen. In the city, A-yuan is an apprentice by day and goes to night school, and A-yun works as a helper at a tailors. Everyone ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Shu-Fang Chen, Shu-fen Hsin, Lawrence Ko
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a young brother and sister whom spend a pivotal summer in the country with their grandparents.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chi-Kuang Wang, Shu-Chen Li, Hsiu-Ling Lin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Shu-fen Hsin, Sung Young Chen
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the first half of this century, young Li Tienlu joines a travelling puppet theatre and subsequently makes a career as one of Taiwan's leading puppeteers. During World War II the Japanese... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tian-Lu Li, Giong Lim, Kuei-Chung Cheng
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chun-Fang Chang, Shih Chang, Doze Niu
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Intended as the concluding film in the trilogy on the modern history of Taiwan began with Beiqing Chengshi (1989), this film reveals the story through three levels: a film within a film as ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Annie Shizuka Inoh, Giong Lim, Jack Kao
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A glimpse at the lives of two petty criminals in Taipei.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Jieh-Wen King, Kuei-Ying Hsu, Annie Shizuka Inoh
Hai shang hua (1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In Shanghai in the 1880s there are four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (called madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michiko Hada, Michelle Reis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story revolves around Yoko Inoue, a pregnant woman in search for a cafe that's frequented by a Taiwanese composer whose life she is researching.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Yo Hitoto, Tadanobu Asano, Masato Hagiwara
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Da-Nian is a young man from Taipei. He goes to a remote village and works as a substitute teacher. He and Su-Yun, another teacher at the school, fall in love. There are several students in ... See full summary »

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Kenny Bee, Ling Chiang, Jing-Kuo Yen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors play the two main characters in each story.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Fang Mei
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The daughter of a wealthy man takes French lessons so she can go to France with her fiancée, but ends up falling for a poor man who studies civil engineering.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Kenny Bee, Anthony Chan, Ping-Yu Chang
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Chia-bao Chang
Neng Chang
Chih-Chen Chen
Han-wen Chen
Shu-Fang Chen
Bao-te Chiang
Tung-hung Chou
Shu-fen Hsin ...
Hsiao's love interest
Hsiang-Ping Hu
Tung-lai Kao
Chung-Wen Lin
Kuo-bao Liu
Cheng-ye Lo
Shun-lin Lo
Edit

Storyline

This depiction of childhood and adolescence draws heavily from the filmmaker's own boyhood. Like many of their compatriots, Hou's family moved from the mainland to Taiwan in 1948 and was unable ever to return. The film focuses on the widening generation gap in a family cut off from its cultural heritage. Written by International Film Circuit <ifcplanet@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Time to Live and a Time to Die  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) |

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is inspired by screenwriter-turned-director Hou Hsiao-Hsien's coming-of-age story. It is the second installment of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's "Coming-of-Age Trilogy" that features three prominent Taiwanese screenwriters' coming-of-age stories - the other two are Dong dong de jiàqi (1984) (inspired by the childhood memories of Chu Tien-Wen) and Liàn liàn fengchén (1986) (inspired by the coming-of-age story of Wu Nien-Jen). See more »

Connections

Follows Dong dong de jiàqi (1984) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A miraculous merging of personal and political
16 March 2002 | by (Rochester, New York) – See all my reviews

"A Time to Live and a Time to Die" reads like a family saga, but it is just as much a film about the passing of traditional China and the dislocation of exile. Of course the plot points are given away; Hou isn't interested in dramatic tension and Aristotelian unities--these are so dependent on Western ideas of

personality and the separation of individual and world that they make little

sense in China. He doesn't push the events in our faces, either--they just

happen, often in the middle distance with a tree in the foreground, the way real life happens. (Remember Auden's "Musee de Beaux Arts", with Icarus plunging

in the sea far off while a ploughman works on his field?)

The space Hou gives his events and his characters doesn't give us the intimacy with people that we expect in the West. But it gives us a rich sense of the

texture of life and the things that pass among members of a family and a

community, even one that is thrown together and can just as suddenly fall

apart, as it begins to here. It's that feeling for social space, in part, that allows this film and others of his to address social and historical questions without ever losing the sharp particularity of a personal story.


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?