A Time in Quchi
PROD Kao Wen-horng
SCR/ED Chang Tso-chi
CAM Yuan Ching-kuo, Jacky Chen, Shu Chih-chun
PROD DES Yang Tsung-ying
MUS Wu Rui-ran
PROD CO Chang Tso Chi Film Studio
The idyllic delights and hidden sorrows of childhood are the subject of A Time in Quchi, a new film by one of Taiwan’s finest directors, Chang Tso-chi.
Bao, an adolescent from an upper-middle-class home, is deposited by his work-distracted father at his grandfather’s house in the countryside near Taipei for the summer. Life at Grandpa’s confronts Bao with a few rude shocks: there’s no cable TV and Grandpa, who’s curmudgeonly but sweet, wants to induct the initially reluctant Bao into the local style of life. Eventually, Bao befriends his new classmates, especially little charismatic showman Ming-chuan. It seems as if the film will settle into a gentle, glowing, elegiac groove. But Chang is merely setting up the elements for a deeply moving second act. More complicated shadows imperceptibly creep into the frame: Bao’s parents are negotiating a divorce; Bao’s young teacher has family secrets of her own.
Chang is a master of telling small-scale stories of intimately connected people: his films capture a world in a microcosm of tiny, lifelike events. The stories seem at first to be almost ordinary, but deeper meanings gradually emerge, so that their cumulative emotional impact takes us by surprise. This extraordinary film speaks with the softest of voices but tells profound tales of love, loss and consolation.
— Shelly Kraicer