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Fleeing by Night (2000)

Ye ben (original title)
Set in China in the 1930s, the film is about the unsettling relationship between three characters. Ing'er, the daughter of a theatre-owner, welcomes the return of Shao-dung, her fiancee and... See full summary »



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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Wei Ying Er
Hsu Shaodong
Lin Chung
Huang Zilei (as Li-jen Tai)
Yaoxuan Shu


Set in China in the 1930s, the film is about the unsettling relationship between three characters. Ing'er, the daughter of a theatre-owner, welcomes the return of Shao-dung, her fiancee and a fine cellist from America. Shao-dung soon finds himself captivated by the opera "Fleeing By Night" and its celebrated actor, Lin Chung, whose voice seems to articulate something within himself. While Shao-dung attempts to blend eastern and western music, Ing'er becomes torn between her affection for both men, and an awareness of the growing intimacy between them. Written by Strand Releasing <www.strandreleasing.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

14 October 2000 (Taiwan)  »

Also Known As:

Fleeing by Night  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,363 (USA) (3 May 2002)


$12,789 (USA) (24 May 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

Historical drama combines tragedy and romance
19 May 2005 | by See all my reviews


Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Sound format: Dolby Digital

Tianjin, the late 1930's: A young cellist (Huang Lei) returns home from studies abroad and makes preparations to marry his childhood sweetheart (Rene Liu), the daughter of a wealthy businessman. But the relationship is soured when Huang meets and falls in love with a male Chinese opera singer (Yin Chao-te) who is being pimped by his mentor to a local gangster (Tai Li-jen). Tragedy ensues.

Several key personnel from CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON were reunited for this Chinese/Taiwanese co-production, including co-director Hsu Li-kong (longtime associate of director Tsai Ming-liang) and co-writer Wang Hui-ling. While it's a pleasant surprise to find a government-sanctioned Chinese film addressing a number of previously taboo subjects (corruption and hypocrisy in high places, gay romance, etc.), the results are decidedly mixed. Hsu's historical drama (co-directed with Yin Chi) relies for much of its dramatic impact on a measured accumulation of narrative details, mixed with all the expected trappings of traditional Chinese melodrama (villainous gangsters, thwarted love, enduring loyalty, lifelong tragedy, etc.). Too much time is spent on Huang's doomed relationship with Liu, and the subsequent romance between Huang and Lin is thwarted at every turn, frustrating audience expectations and leading some critics to question the film's sexual politics.

More a tragedy than a love story, the narrative builds to a genuinely heartbreaking conclusion: Few will be unmoved by a blunt, devastating sequence at the end of the movie in which Huang and Yin are 'reunited' after many years apart, all the more heartbreaking for the understated manner in which it is staged. Huang (LIFE ON A STRING, THE PHANTOM LOVER) makes an attractive and sympathetic protagonist, while Yin smoulders intensely in a difficult role, and Liu (who made an impressive debut five years earlier in the title role of SIAO YU) is quietly effective as the understanding wallflower laid low by her fiancée's deceit. Equally memorable is Tai, playing the nominal 'villain' as a sympathetic character hidebound by traditions and his place within Chinese society. Ultimately, some viewers will reject the film's deliberate pacing, while others will embrace its unassuming stateliness and grand romantic heart.

(Mandarin dialogue)

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