A City of Sadness

1989 [CHINESE]

Drama / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright90%
IMDb Rating7.8105453

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Tony Chiu Wai Leung Photo
Tony Chiu Wai Leung as Wen-ching
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.42 GB
Chinese 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 38 min
P/S 9 / 30
2.64 GB
Chinese 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 38 min
P/S 21 / 46

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kmevy10 / 10

A very moving time travel to post-war Taiwan

This film is definitely one of the best historical film i have ever seen!

... putting aside all those clichés most filmmakers are tend to use: there is no such thing as heroic portrayal of martyrs or the use of extremely artificial dramatic art. That makes this film believable and, compared to others, very unique.

Normally you would have a narrator who is telling you the story from his point of view. Now, i don't want to say that i dismiss this way of narration but "A city of sadness" does not need such a narrator; in fact it would shatter the special specific atmosphere of this movie if that would be the case. Without definitive narrative elements, the staging normally involves (narration/music/DP etc),the viewer gets the feeling that he is able to see for himself what the lives of those people were like when WWII ended. It is fascinating to witness how this very sober staging is still able to evoke strong emotions within the viewer. This is due to the directors vision but also to the cast which did an amazing job.

It was also very clever to have the deaf Wen-Ch'ing as the main character so the viewer can sympathize with him very easily: like Wen-Ch'ing the viewer is kind of caught up within the political turbulence and is not to able react like he would want because he is mute ... and is therefore not able to speak up in a loud voice to stop the violence. He is forced to watch.

Even today the topic Taiwan/China isn't solved at all. After watching this film people will surely get a better understanding why the struggle between China and Taiwan is so filled with anger, sadness, fury ...

so ... that's definitely a must-see!! ;)

Reviewed by utp01309 / 10

Quiet transcendence

A previous poster described this film as a Taiwanese Godfather, but better. Indeed, this film has a lot similarities to godfather, in which the most notable is the condensation of an entire nation into the life of one single family. Even though I never really come to love other Hou's films, City of Sadness is a flawless epic that truthfully depict an era that is forgotten by most of my generation. I have heard those stories from my paternal grandparents, who are like people portrait in the film, grass root Taiwanese. I have also heard stories from my maternal grandparents, who are the late comers from mainland China. The entire different perspectives surprised me that in such a small nation, mistrust is still profoundly rooted and transmitted via generations. City of Sadness portraits this image so hauntingly and yet with beautiful and quiet transcendence seeing the turmoil through the eyes of the deaf and mute son of the Lin family. Taiwan, the city of sadness, is eternally sorrowful because of its rootlessness, which until today, still runs in my blood.

Reviewed by cd179310 / 10

You have to know Taiwanese history to enjoy this movie thoroughly

Needless to comment on Hou's excellent artistic directing, the story itself tightly revolves around an average Taiwanese family's life during the years 1945-1949 when Japanese occupation ended and KuoMinTang from mainland took over. There are conflict on personal/family level between native Taiwanese (BenShengRen) and mainland newcomers(WaiShengRen),and massive political prosecution and massacre of native intellectuals by KuoMinTang. Hou painted an inspiring (rather than sad) picture of the native intellectuals giving their lives to earn their fellow Taiwanese dignity which was ironically more lacking during the KuoMinTang ruling than Japanese ruling.

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