牯嶺街少年殺人事件（數位修復版） A Brighter Summer Day (Restored)
楊德昌 Edward YANG｜臺灣Taiwan｜1991｜DCP｜Colour｜237min
★1991 Best Narrative Feature, Best Original Screenplay, Golden Horse Awards
★1991 Best Direstor, Festival des 3 Continents
The film is based on a true event that rocked the nation in 1961; a teenage boy committed the murder, which was an outcome of love. The director, Edward YANG, was in the same grade at the same high school as the murderer was. Years later, YANG adapted the homicide incident and put emphasis on the times triggering the killing. This four-hour-long epic presents the gloomy atmosphere of islanders who can only relieve their cravings for freedom with American pop songs under the political environments of oppressive control and the Cold War in the 1960s. The film illustrates the complicatedness of that time with hundreds of roles. The story centers on the inexorable fall of a teenager into juvenile delinquency, set against a backdrop of gangs’ conflicts, dull schooldays, overwhelming state apparatus, father’s change, and incomprehensible behavior of his girlfriend. The incident is a painful result of innocence lost.
The film was released at the time when all declarations of martial law were lifted. It was a time asking for reform and revisions to views of Taiwanese history. Different from the perspective of a native Taiwanese family in HOU’s A City of Sadness (1989), A Brighter Summer Day tells the story of a teenager whose father is a normal mainlander working as a civil servant. Contrasting to the works calmly exploring relationships in cities in the 1980s, YANG involves a great number of personal memories in the epic and shows strong feelings with masterful direction. YANG’s effort in establishing his team and choosing actors in schools were conducive to the production of the epic. Performers and crew members who worked with him are enlightened to make creative works in their future careers.