The Time to Live and the Time to Die = Tong Nien Wang Shi

Taiwan, Province Of China, 1985

Film
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The Time to Live and the Time to Die is the story of a boy in the early 1950’s, baffled by all the grown-up’s talk of “home” on the mainland, unmoved by the portentous news stories that come over the radio; the story of a teenage delinquent in the early 1960s, thrown out of school, getting into fights with rival gangs, feeling the first stirring’s of sexual curiosity. It is Hou’s own voice that speaks the narration at the beginnings and end, confirming the intimacy and the candour of these memories. But this is also the story of a generation, the generation that fled from the hardships of China in the late 1940s, settled in the comparative prosperity of Taiwan and then found itself unable to return. It’s a story never before told on film, and certainly never visualised in such piercing and accurate detail. This has nothing to do with nostalgia. It is founded on a warm but clear-eyed sensitivity to the ways that people talk, think and behave. The result is one of the greatest Chinese films ever made.

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Collection

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Credits

director

Xiaoxian Hou

production company

Central Motion Pictures Corporation

Duration

02:17:00:00

Production places
Taiwan, Province Of China
Production dates
1985

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier

325120

Audience classification

MA

Sound/audio

Sound

Colour

Colour

Holdings

VHS; Access Print (Section 1)

Wikidata

Q697070

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