Dong dong de jiàqi
- 1h 33m
A coming-of-age story about a young brother and sister who spend a pivotal summer in the country with their grandparents.A coming-of-age story about a young brother and sister who spend a pivotal summer in the country with their grandparents.A coming-of-age story about a young brother and sister who spend a pivotal summer in the country with their grandparents.
When a young brother and sister spend a pivotal summer away from home, they are changed. Ting-Ting and Tung-Tung (Wang Qiguang) are children of the city, but when their mother is struck ill, they must leave Taipei, Taiwan, behind and spend the summer with their grandfather and grandmother (Mei Fang) in the country. As they wile away the days at play, the elder Tung-Tung is garnering glimpses of adult responsibility and is slowly growing to realize what it means to be a grownup. —Burly.
A beautifully sweet film
It seems like most great directors take out time to make at least one film which focuses on the lives of children. *Pather Panchali* did it for Satyajit Ray, *Amarcord* for Fellini, *Where Is the Friend's House?* for Abbas Kiarostami. *A Summer at Grandpa's* seems to be Hou Hsiao-hsien's entry into this genre and it fits in with those other great films perfectly. Having just recently seen 6 other Hou films in a retrospective, this one does seem to be least like the others in terms of having a coherent narrative and fewer distancing effects. However, this IS like the others in terms of Hou's focus on everyday life, on how people live their lives during the periods when hugely dramatic things aren't happening. From shots like the one of discarded sunflower seeds on a train to the shot of a turtle trying to avoid a toy truck, this is a film about the little things in life from a child's perspective. What's so amazing about the film is that, while portraying small, every-day events, more profound issues about family and death are dealt with in such a complex and subtle way. The basic premise of the film (without giving away too much) is that two children go to their grandfather's house to live for the summer while their mother is sick in the hospital. Clearly the absence of Ting-Ting and Tung-Tung's mother is deeply traumatic for both. But, Hou gets at this sorrow and confusion without ever simply stating it. The best example of this is the relationship between Tung-Tung and a mentally retarded woman which is one of the most affecting and beautiful relationships I've seen on film (and it's all done without a word of dialogue). This is a hard film to find in the U.S. But, if you ever have the opportunity to see *A Summer at Grandpa's*, do see it. You'll get to experience one of the most deeply moving films about childhood that is out there.
- Jun 21, 2000
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content