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A City of Sadness

A City of Sadness, directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien, will be screened at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

October 13, 2010 7:00pm to 12:00am

Seen through the prism of the Lin family, this complex family drama from Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien details a brief but crucial moment in Taiwanese history between 1945, when 50 years of Japanese colonial rule came to an end, and 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Kuomintang forces established a government-in-exile after the Communist army captured mainland China. The film opens with the reedy voice of Emperor Hirohito announcing Japan's surrender as the eldest of the Lin clan's four sons awaits the birth of his child in a coastal town not far from Taipei. Soon afterward, he changes the name of his Japanese decorated bar to "Little Shanghai" and begins trading in the post-war black market.

The film climaxes with the notorious Incident of February 28, 1947, a Tiananmen Square-style massacre of native Taiwanese committed by Kuomintang troops resulting in between 18,000 to 28,000 causalities.

35mm print provided courtesy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles. Running time: 157 minutes. In Mandarin, Japanese, Cantonese and Shanghainese, with English subtitles.

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