Ye que zhi shi
Gateway | Gateway
Twelve-year-old Han (Kao Yu-sia) lives with his great grandmother in the countryside, where he attends a rural school. Since his school is about to close, Han’s young mother Li (Lee Yi-chieh) suddenly reappears into his life to take him to Taipei to attend school there. Li is a young working-class mother scrambling to survive economically with limited job skills. When she is dumped by her married, monied boyfriend, she takes a series of successively more degrading "service" jobs in the entertainment industry to make ends meet. Han, who is so unnaturally reserved that he might have undiagnosed Asperger’s, watches with an increasing unstable and ambiguous mix of unease, desire, and fear as his mother becomes involved with a very unsavoury young man.
Director Shih Li’s absolutely authentic depiction of a working woman’s struggles to live in contemporary urban Taipei is enhanced with a surprising streak of rapturous, poetic symbolism. The great young Taiwanese actress Lee Yi-chieh is incandescent as Li: her complex and heartbreaking performance illuminates this sophisticated, thoughtful story of a mother and son both yearning for love.
— Shelly Kraicer
Best Actress, Taipei Film Awards 19