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The Muted Interstices of Testimony: A City of Sadness and the Predicament of Multiculturalism in Taiwan

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What I plan to do in this essay is to discuss in a broad fashion some of the tendencies that define the style of Hou Hsiao-hsien and then to indicate how they are brought to bear in the representation of the political repression which forms the historical subtext for Hou’s A City of Sadness. I suggest that ultimately it is precisely the defining characteristics of this important film, the characteristics that make it worth repeated viewing and discussion and have ensured it a venerated status.

Keywords: A City of Sadness; Hou Hsiao-hsien; Taiwanese; political repression; social realism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2004

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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