MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,536 this week

A Time to Live, a Time to Die (1985)
"Tong nien wang shi" (original title)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  1988 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,080 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 9 critic

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.

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 17 Jan 2013
 
list image
a list of 24 titles
created 06 Feb 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 09 Mar 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Time to Live, a Time to Die (1985)

A Time to Live, a Time to Die (1985) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Time to Live, a Time to Die.
8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Yellow Earth (1984)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

'Yellow Earth' focuses on the story of a communist soldier who is sent to the countryside to collect folk songs for the Communist Revolution. There he stays with a peasant family and learns... See full summary »

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Xueqi Wang, Bai Xue, Quiang Liu
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, Shufen Xin, Sung Young Chen
Vive L'Amour (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who's ... See full summary »

Director: Ming-liang Tsai
Stars: Chao-jung Chen, Kang-sheng Lee, Kuei-Mei Yang
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a young street vendor with a grim home life meets a woman on her way to Paris, they forge an instant connection. He changes all the clocks in Taipei to French time; as he watches ... See full summary »

Director: Ming-liang Tsai
Stars: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son, but he is forced to steal again after the birth... See full summary »

Directors: Zhuangzhuang Tian, Peicheng Pan
Stars: Daiba, Jiji Dan, Drashi
Center Stage (1991)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Biopic of 1930's Chinese actress Ruan Ling Yu.

Director: Stanley Kwan
Stars: Maggie Cheung, Han Chin, Tony Ka Fai Leung
Brightness (1987)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

Director: Souleymane Cissé
Stars: Issiaka Kane, Aoua Sangare, Niamanto Sanogo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A metaphysical mystery about the lives of three couples in Taipei that continually intersect over a span of several weeks.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Cora Miao, Bao-ming Gu, Wang An
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Based from true story, primarily a conflict between two youth gangs, 14-year-old young boy's girlfriend conflict with the head of the gang for unclear reason, until finally there was a painfully incident.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Chen Chang, Lisa Yang, Kuo-Chu Chang
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: Shufang Chen, Lawrence Ko, Tianlu Li
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Stars: Chi-Kuang Wang, Shu-Chen Li, Hsiu-Ling Lin
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Directors: Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Stars: Danièle Huillet, Bahgat Elnadi, Gérard Samaan
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Chia-bao Chang
Neng Chang
Chih-chen Chen
Han-wen Chen
Shu-fang Chen
Bao-te Chiang
Tung-hung Chou
Ai Hsiao
Hsiang-ping Hu
Tung-lai Kao
Chung-Wen Lin
Kuo-bao Liu
Cheng-ye Lo
Shun-lin Lo
Tse-chung 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 _My Summer at Grandpa's (1984)_ (inspired by the childhood memories of Chu Tien-Wen) and _Dust in the Wind (1986)_ (inspired by the coming-of-age story of Wu Nien-Jen). See more »

Connections

Featured in Naamsaang-neuiseung (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The most personal work by one of the greatest living directors
18 November 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film, which first brought Hou and the Taiwanese New Wave to international attention, seems deceptively simple, like your run-of-the mill growing-up-humbly-in-a-third-world-country narrative: a young boy, whose family has been transplanted from China to Taiwan, faces a hard path to adulthood complete with neighborhood tussles and family deaths. But gradually its manner of telling draws you in: at first, events seem like fragmented vignettes, but are actually blended in a succession that has been described as `like watching clouds floating by.' His propensity towards graphically composed, image-driven storytelling recalls the styles of Ozu, Satyajit Ray and even Tarkovsky, but where Hou excels is in applying his style towards an examination on the nature of history. For my money, there has never been a filmmaker as consumed by the idea of history than Hou, and this deeply autobiographical film may shed light on his motivations. By the time we reach the devastating ending, there's an overwhelming feeling of a time and place, an entire way of life, that has slowly disappeared before our eyes, but even more heartbreaking is the profound sense of guilt, of youthful opportunity squandered in hoodlum-like loitering, of parents whose presence was taken for granted until the sudden arrival of their ineffable absence. Watch this film to see how movies are humankind's noble, anxious attempt to retrieve lost time, and how the retrieval only reflects back on the mournful permanence of that loss.


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
analysis of a fantastic film amannino
Discuss A Time to Live, a Time to Die (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page