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Daughter of the Nile (1987)Daughter of the Nile (1987)

Daughter of the Nile (1987)

A stunning naturalistic film about a Taiwanese family in the 1980s

Crime, Drama

7.5

movie

Taiwan
Mandarin
Raw, Slice-of-Life, Slow
1987
Hou Hsiao-hsien
Grace Chen Shu-Fang, Hsin Shu-Fen, Jack Kao
91 min

Synopsis

rotten tomatoes
imdb
wikipedia
Lin Hsiao-yang tries to keep her family together while working as a waitress at Kentucky Fried Chicken and going to night school. With no mother and her father currently working out of town, it is up to Lin Hsiao-yang to take care of her younger siblings, who are slipping into a life of crime.

Our Take

7.5
Isabella Endrinal

In this stunning coming-of-age drama, Hou Hsiao-hsien takes us to the neon-lit streets of Taiwan and the dull beige house of the Lin family. The film is centered around the eldest daughter, Lin Hsiao-yang (portrayed by the Taiwanese pop star Lin Yang), who takes care of her whole family after her mother dies and her father gains employment in another city. Her sister is too young to work, and her older brother is a petty criminal. It’s easy to empathize with her struggles—many of them are issues children shouldn’t face. But she deals with them with a silent sort of strength, with Lin Yang’s stoic face hiding some simmering resentment. Similarly, the film’s slow pace and serene framing hide the underlying violence that affects the Lin family. Juxtaposing Taiwan’s urban and suburban life, Western and Eastern aesthetics, and the film’s Egyptian mythos with the struggle of Taiwan’s youth, Hou presents a contemplative view of 1980s Taiwan.

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