24 November 2011

Book Review: City of Sadness, by Bérénice Reynaud, ****

This work introduces the Western audience to the richness of New Taiwanese Cinema. It revisits a painful episode in Taiwanese history, creating an elliptical and impressionistic picture of Chiang Kai-shek's takeover of the island after the defeat of his Kuomintang army by Mao Zedong.

This is a moving love story that serves as a conduit to illustrate the period right after WW II in Taiwan, when the Japanese colonial administration was replaced by the ruthless and corrupt rule of Chen Yi, a mainland administrator for Chiang Kai-shek. The infamous episode of 2/28/47 is the background against which the story is set.

Taiwan later became an extraordinary success story and today it is a thriving democracy, but the end of Japanese colonial rule did not start under the best auspices...

Book and film (VHS, DVD is harder to find) available on Amazon.

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