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Taipei Story

Qingmei Zhuma

The title is entirely appropriate, for this is a chilling snapshot of 1980s Taipei, a frenetic boom city where nondescript buildings go up overnight. Underneath all the apparent prosperity, Yang finds a crushing uncertainty. Taipei Story records the break-up of the longstanding relationship between a budding female executive, Shu-Chen (played by pop star Tsai Chin), and businessman Lon (a brilliant performance by acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-hsiein). Initially, the couple appear to be riding Taiwan’s prosperity, but it soon becomes abundantly clear that they are barely scraping by, and one or two setbacks can completely change their lives. Yang expertly mixes this drama of a couple with a layered portrait of the contrasting values adhered to by the different communities that comprise modern-day Taiwan. The older generation bemoans the lack of morals of the current adult generation, but they’re equally confused and even more terrified.
Taiwan, 1985.
English subtitles.
Colour.
117 mins.

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