The Time to Live and the Time to Die (1985)
Special Classic Taiwan New Wave
Taiwan New Wave: Lives Less Ordinary

The Time to Live and the Time to Die (1985)

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This portrayal of the family’s journey and struggles moving from mainland China to southern Taiwan in the late 40s is still considered one of the best coming-of-age films from Asia. Once again, director Hou Hsiao-hsien draws from his life experiences (having moved to Taiwan at the age of 4) and delivers a deeply personal and nostalgic film, without it ever becoming melodramatic. We follow the challenges of a boy growing up and adapting to a new culture, navigating societal norms and pressures. Again, as in many of his Hou’s films, longing for tradition and home is present, but also the desire to be in the here and now by the lead character.


Hou Hsiao-hsien
Yu An-Shun, Tien Feng, Mei Fang, Ru-Yun Tang
138 minuten


When a family makes the move from China’s mainland to Taiwan, the elder members struggle to adapt in their new environment while Ah-Ha, a young boy, gradually reaches maturity. The generation gap grows fearsomely wide, threatening to alienate the young man from his family and their traditions.

KINO is proud to present (re)introduce you to nine masterpieces from the Taiwan New Wave. These classics have remained underseen in cinemas, so it’s high time we showcase them on our grandest screen. Featuring films from the first and second wave by Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ang Lee, Tsai Ming-liang and more. The films of this revolutionary movement in cinema history were artistically innovative, but also in their realistic portrayal of the Taiwanese people. They illustrated societal and economic shifts, much like Italian Neorealism in the 1940s. By capturing their cultural identity, these filmmakers created their own voice and their own national cinema. Trailer: Baris Azman