Bei qing cheng shi (A City of Sadness)
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Bei qing cheng shi (A City of Sadness)
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… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The movie conveys the director's intensely personal struggle at the crossroads of large-scale history and private memory; with understatedly bitter irony, he depicts the birth of a nation at the price of a family's dissolution."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"It is worth the long wait for the resonance of 'A City of Sadness to emerge."
‑ Caryn James, New York Times
"A City of Sadness compassionately articulates the suppressed, silent despair of a people repeatedly victimised as they search for inclusion and cultural identification."
‑ Acquarello, Senses of Cinema
"A City of Sadness is a great film, one that will be watched as long as there are people who care about the movies as an art."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"Beautiful family saga by the great Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"The film is so complicated that you can understand why a number of Taiwanese magazines published family trees to help viewers follow each character's story, but if you can get to grips with it this is a fascinating history lesson."
‑ , Film4
"Hou turns in a masterpiece of small gestures and massive resonance; once you surrender to its spell, the obscurities vanish."
‑ Tony Rayns, Time Out
"Hou Hsiao-Hsien's subtle compositions and meticulous pacing draw the viewer into the heart of the drama."
‑ David Parkinson, Radio Times
"An ambitiously conceived, sometimes frustratingly elliptical family chronicle that shows one family's experience immediately following the Japanese occupation of the nation."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
More reviews for Bei qing cheng shi (A City of Sadness) on Rotten Tomatoes