7.9/10
4,142
12 user 18 critic

A City of Sadness (1989)

Beiqíng chéngshì (original title)
A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Director:

Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Reviews
8 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Wen-ching (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Shu-Fen Hsin ... Hinome
Sung Young Chen ... Wen-heung
Jack Kao ... Wen Leung
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wou Yi Fang Wou Yi Fang ... Hinoiei
Ai-Yun Ho Ai-Yun Ho ... Bg Brother Chie
Chien-Ho Huang Chien-Ho Huang
Chien-ru Huang Chien-ru Huang
Chi-Ying Kao Chi-Ying Kao ... Shopkeeper
Tien-Lu Li Tien-Lu Li ... Ah-lu (as Tian-Lu Li)
Ju Lin Ju Lin
Lih-Ching Lin Lih-Ching Lin ... (as Liqing Lin)
Ching Lu Ching Lu ... Wu's father
Ikuyo Nakamura Ikuyo Nakamura ... Shizuko
Chen-Nan Tsai
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Storyline

A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives of four brothers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1989, Hou Hsiao-hsien's A City of Sadness, the first film to touch on the 228 Incident, a taboo subject in Taiwan, became a big hit in the theaters. As a result Jioufen, where the film was set, revived due to the film's popularity. The nostalgic scenery of Jioufen as seen in the film, as well as appearances in other media, charmed many people into visiting Jioufen. For the beginning of the 90s, Jioufen experienced a tourist boom that has shaped the town as a tourist attraction. Soon retro-Chinese style cafés, tea houses, and souvenir stores bearing the name "City of Sadness" were built. See more »

User Reviews

 
Confucian Cinematic Ritual
21 March 2014 | by cinephilereviewSee all my reviews

This is definitely one of my all-time favorite movies. Before watching A City of Sadness, I subconsciously had this notion that somehow there were certain ways (or methods) feature narrative films should be made. Oh…how wrong I was. Experiencing this movie was like… the first time I saw Asian art, no more like the first time I tasted Chinese food as a kid. It was more than different. It was delightful! This film totally enlightened me! This poetic masterpiece changed the way I view cinema. This film which deals with modernity of Taiwan, feels more like a Confucian ritual, an ancestral rite of some sort. And at the same time like many of Hou Hsiao-hsien's other films, this movie deals with the theme of 'growth'. Hou seems to tell us over and over again that growth is learning to say goodbye to the things we love. One beautiful movie. I strongly recommend it to the cinephiles who haven't yet tasted this great cinematic treat.


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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | Taiwan

Release Date:

21 October 1989 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

A City of Sadness See more »

Filming Locations:

Hokkien, China See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,737
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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