Chinese film: A City of Sadnes 悲情城市 ~ Chinese Movies&TV

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Helmed by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, “A City of Sadness” revolves around a family during the “White Terror” period imposed by Kuomintang. It is the first film to deal with the 2/28 Incident in 1947, a turning point in Taiwan history when thousands of people were killed.

The director managed to show a panoramic picture of Taiwanese society at that time through a family’s tragedy. His film reflects conflicts between indigenous people and immigrants, and struggles between local people and the Kuomintang in a calm and delicate way.

The film is regarded as the first installment of Hou’s Taiwan history trilogy which included “The Puppet Master” (1993) and “Good Men, Good Women” (1995). It won the Golden Lion at the 46th Venice International Film Festival in 1989, becoming the first Chinese-language film to win the award. It was also granted the UNESCO Award by the festival.

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