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A Time to Live and a Time to Die

April 4, 2015 - 7:30 pm

A Time to Live and a Time to Die  (Taiwan, 1985)

Tong nian wang shi

A beautifully attenuated observation of the immigrant experience and ephemeral youth, director Hou Hsiao-hsien's semi-autobiographical tale follows teenage Ah-hsiao (like Hou himself, an immigrant from the Chinese mainland) over 20 years during which childhood gives way to reckless adolescent involvement with street gangs, then to the assumption of responsibility within the family.  Delicate and restrained, the film is often cited for its similarity to the austere masterworks of Yasujiro Ozu.

Producer: Lin Teng-fei, Hsu Hsin-chih, Chang Hwa-kun.  Director: Hou Hsiao-hsien.   Screenwriter: Hou Hsiao-hsien.  Cinematography: Mark Lee (Ping-bin).  Editor: Wang Chi-yang.  Cast: Yu An-shun, Tien Feng, Mei Fang, Tang Ju-yun, Hsiao Ai, Hsin Shu-fen.  35mm, color, in Mandarin with English subtitles, 136 min.