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In the Heat of the Sun (1994)

Yang guang can lan de ri zi (original title)
| Drama, Romance | 1994 (China)
A story of four teenagers during Cultural Revolution in Beijing.


Wen Jiang


Wen Jiang, Shuo Wang (story "Wild Beasts")
9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Yu Xia ... Ma Xiaojun
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shaobo Dai Shaobo Dai ... Yang Gao
Hua Fang Hua Fang ... Old general
Xiaogang Feng ... Mr. Hu
Le Geng ... Liu Yiku (as Geng Le)
Dong Han Dong Han ... Ma Xiaojun (child)
Wen Jiang ... Ma Xiaojun (adult)
Bin Liu Bin Liu ... Liu Sitian (adult)
Xiaoning Liu Xiaoning Liu ... Liu Yiku (adult)
Jing Ning ... Mi Lan
Nan Shang Nan Shang ... Liu Sitian
Gaowa Siqin ... Mother
Hong Tao ... Yu Beipei
Shuo Wang Shuo Wang ... Small-time conman
Xueqi Wang ... Father


MA Xiaojun, a teenager boy, enjoying 100% freedom, grew up brutally in Beijing in the special days of cultural revolution. With nothing to do in schools, he began to sneak into strangers' homes using a self-made key. One day, he opened a door, entering the house of MI Lan. Without any notice, Mi came back home early, making MA nowhere to hide but under the bed. He saw the well-shaped young girl changing and naturally, as a teenager boy, he fell into the puppy love. Without any agenda or expectation, he tried to court the girl... Time passed away, young boys and girls changed. When looking back at the days of puberty, it seems the Sun shined strongly everyday. And the heat of the sun, though far fading, can still be felt in the memories of the people of that generation. Long story short, it is a Chinese version of the sorrows of younger Werther. Written by Xuguang Deng

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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China | Hong Kong



Release Date:

1994 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Yangguang Canlan de Tizi See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (digital restored) | (rough cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Chinese version of the Soviet song "Moscow Nights" features prominently in the film, as does Pietro Mascagni's music for his opera Cavalleria Rusticana. See more »

Alternate Versions

Ma Xiaojun's 3-minute dream was cut from the final/official Chinese DVD version, but was available on one bootleg VHS version around '95-'97. Many characters only can be seen in this dream still appear in the ending credit (e.g., 4 fake Japanese soldiers, etc.). See more »


Features Lenin in 1918 (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Salute to Jiang Wen and Wang Shuo
22 May 2004 | by QiDiSee all my reviews

Since the first time I saw "Yangguang Canlan de Rizi" ("In the Heat of the Sun", actually if translated directly from the Chinese name, it would be "Bright Sunny Days"), it became one of my all time favorites. Depicted in a yellowish color, the movie is full of mood of reminiscence. Though I was born right after the "Cultural Revolution"(1966-1976), I heard a lot about it from the older people. Days of those years were humdrum at large but might be wonderful for youngsters. Schools were loose or even dismissed, students worried nothing except their adolescent affairs. Just as eagletc, another reviewer on this board, described: "there wasn't so much on concern in our mind, hence fighting against the children from other section in the military region became the only extracurriculum activity".

What's great of this movie is that it exhibits to us so vividly the growth experience of one generation in a somewhat wild and beautiful way. It may be very touching for those who are acquainted with that period of Chinese history but may confuse and bore those who are not. Jiang Wen is not only a talented actor but also a genius director. There's another movie from him I also love, "guizi lai le". I would like to mention Wang shuo, the writer of the original novel "Dongwu Xiongmeng (Animals Are Savage)", who is the most creative contemporary novelist in China.

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