8.4/10
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18 user 35 critic

Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (1991)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 25 November 2011 (USA)
Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.

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8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Xiao Si'r (Zhang Zhen)
Lisa Yang ...
Ming (Liu Zhiming)
...
Father
...
Mother
...
Eldest Sister
...
Elder Brother
Hsiu-Chiung Chiang ...
Middle Sister
Stephanie Lai ...
Youngest Sister (as Fanyun Lai)
Chi-tsan Wang ...
Cat (Wang Mao)
...
Airplane (Ji Fei)
Chih-Kang Tan ...
Ma
Ming-Hsin Chang ...
Underpants (Mingxin) (as Mingxin Zhang)
Chun-Lung Jung ...
Bomber (Chang Po-wen)
Hui-Kuo Chou ...
Tiger (Xiao Hu) (as Huiguo Zhou)
Ching-Chi Liu ...
Hefty (Da Ge) (as Qingqi Liu)
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Storyline

Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

25 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Brighter Summer Day  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

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|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on a true story. See more »

Connections

Features Rio Bravo (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A near-lost masterpiece of the Thai New Wave finally gets the treatment it deserves
6 May 2016 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Recently I've ordered Criterion's new DVD of Edward Yang's much lauded "A Brighter Summer Day". After seeing the old print on a Chinese bootleg, I can safely say that the restored picture is a revelation, one of the best epics I've seen in recent memory.

It's a film about troubled youths, growing up in 1950's Taiwan, where two gangs are always fighting. There are the 217's, sons of Mainland Chinese that go to military school, and the Little Park Boys, native islanders.

At 217 minutes, this film is a quiet and personal film, but also an epic in the sense it's trying to tell the story of a whole generation, through the conflicts of the characters and their struggle to fit into a society that has no room for them.

Xiao Si'r (Chen Chang) is the centre of the drama, and his life is observed with a patient calm by the camera, each detail having time to sink in. He meets Ming (Lisa Yang) a girl at his school, who's dating, Honey, the leader of the leader of the rival gang.

Relationships are the heart of the picture, showing friendships between the gang members, young love, and family matters at home. Xiao Si'r's parents, brother and sisters and teachers are all given time to have fully realised characters, as are the rest of the gang members, who have great names like "Airplane", "Horsecart", "Bomber" and "Underpants".

The introduction of "Honey" a gang leader clad in a sailor's uniform, is given great weight because all the other characters talked him up, so when you finally see him, it's very satisfying. The whole movie seems like it could be a living world, not just starting and ending where the picture starts and ends, but a place with living people and full lives in it. It's little moments, like playing pool, fixing a radio, a game of basketball, and a dinner party - while they seem unimportant, it's what makes the movie special, especially when it all comes together in the end.

Between the troubling scenes of violence, there is great warmth and humour, always subtle and endearing. There are also political undertones, like when Xiao Si'r's father is questioned by the police for being suspected of having Communist ties. The film is set when thousands of Chinese fled the mainland to go to Taiwan after the Communists overthrew the country. Taiwan is firmly anti-communist, so there's another layer of depth to the picture.

There's no score to the movie, except for music playing on radios and performed at concerts. Much reverence is paid to American pop music, and the use of Elvis music throughout the picture is brilliant.

Everyone should find the time to watch this picture. It's truly wonderful if you give it the chance, and even if you can't see it in one sitting, watch it over two days.


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