Darkness and Light

  • 102'
  • Taiwan
  • 1999
Kang-yi returns for the summer holidays to Keelang, a village near Taipei, to help her father in the massage salon. The father was blinded in a car accident, in which he also lost his wife. The other masseurs in the salon are also (half-) blind, which is quite common in Asia. When Kang-yi accompanies her father to one of his customers, she meets Ah Ping, a member of a gangster clan who has also just arrived in Keelang. They fall in love with each other, much to the dissatisfaction of Ah Lim, a former classmate of Kang-yi and also the son of a rival gangster family. His jealousy leads to a real war between the two families that ends in tragedy. Chang Tso-Chi, former assistant director to Hou Hsiao-hsien, has gone further than any other Taiwanese director in working with non-professional actors and with improvisation, in order to get the best out of the thoughts and feelings of his characters. Chang's real subject is not so much a doomed love affair, but more the tension between seeing, desiring and imagination. He is more interested in psychological than social realism - an interest that is manifested in the moving and very surprising end of the film.
Director
Chang Tso-chi
Country of production
Taiwan
Production Year
1999
Festival Edition
IFFR 2000
Length
102'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Heian zhi Guang
Language
Mandarin
Producers
Chang Tso-Chi Film Studio, Chen Xisheng
Sales
Trust Film Sales
Screenplay
Chang Tso-chi
Local Distributor
Upstream Pictures (NL)