Stanley Coulter Hall, Room 239
Director: Edward Yang (杨德昌)
Running time: 3 hours, 56 minutes
A Brighter Summer Day is a 1991 Taiwanese drama film directed by Edward Yang. The film is an extraordinarily large project for a Chinese-language film, not only for its duration of almost four hours, but also for its involvement of more than 100 amateur actors in different roles. The English title is derived from the lyrics of Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome Tonight?". Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax. The film depicts a great array of political and existential themes such as the need of guidance during adolescence, the loss of Taiwan’s cultural identity in favour of the growingly influential Western culture, the unrestrained violence caused by an uneasy socio-political juncture, the desire of migrating towards an expectedly better country, the hardships of parenthood, the awkwardly naive and sometimes dangerous way in which teenagers convey love and sex, the downside of multi-faceted friendship, the strained differences between social classes forced to coexist in the same dismal place, and, especially, the fatal and irreversible consequences of an aimless life and a confused upbringing.