Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
In this ethnic drama with a sketchy storyline but an engaging sense of time and place, three young men leave their rural island homes looking for better economic opportunities and perhaps a little more excitement. From their listless life on the small island of Fenggui, off the coast of Taiwan, the three arrive in the city of Gaoxiung where they find temporary shelter at the home of the sister of one of them. She also helps them get jobs in a factory -- a good sign for the future. As they settle into city life, the man next door takes off to evade the police who are after him, and his wife is left alone. She and one of the three men soon establish a tentative relationship -- though their future together seems uncertain. Director Hou Hsiao-hsien is well-recognized for his talent, and if viewers read between the lines they may see references to the split between native Taiwanese speaking their own languages and the mainland Mandarin speakers who invaded the island in 1949 to set up a government in exile. Antagonism between the Taiwanese, who were at first excluded from many important government jobs, and the mainland Chinese, who were at first foreigners, was an open and acknowledged problem for decades.
career, city-life, factory, life-choices, sister