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Josephine A. Blankstein,
Yang-yang is a French-Chinese mix. She has never seen her French father. She does not speak a single French word. Her mum has re-married but she has been very lonely. She started working at the entertainment industry. The fact that she is a mix is a good selling point. The film depicts how Yang-yang dealt with her life, her relationships with men, with her mother and friends. Written by
I almost missed seeing this movie at a recent film festival because the organizers didn't classify it as Chinese. That is essentially what "Yang Yang" is about: the problem of Taiwanese identity. Other Taiwanese directors have wrestled with this theme, for example, Hou Hsiao-hsien in "Three Times" and "Millenium Mambo," or Tsai Ming-liang in "The Hole" and "What Time Is It There?" or Yee Chih-yen in "Blue Gate Crossing," or even Ang Lee in "Lust, Caution," and, if you squint at it, "The Hulk." Like these movies, "Yang Yang" portrays a set of trials that are so immediate and insoluble, and shot at such unpleasant proximity, that my first reaction was to try to distance myself from what I was seeing. But the acting is so good, and the symbolism is so intelligent, and the story is so universal, that "Yang Yang" made me realize that Taiwan's problems are everybody's problems, and instead of dragging through a typical Bildungsroman I left the theater exalted. 9/10. With haunting music by Lim Giong.
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