The Boys from Fengkuei


Newly restored by the Cinémathèque Royale Belgique in collaboration with Hou Hsiao-hsien and the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project is Hou's iconic The Boys from Fengkuei. From the 1983 London Film Festival: “The past two years have seen a major revolution in Taiwanese cinema, with a breakthrough by younger directors paralleling that in Hong Kong five years ago. Hou Hsiao-hsien’s fourth feature is strikingly emblematic of the shift towards a greater naturalism and subjects dealing with youth and provincial life. The film follows the fortunes of a trio of bored teenagers who move from the small island of Fengkuei to the port of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, showing with sympathy and quiet humor a whole social stratum dispossessed of the Taiwanese economic dream and wandering aimlessly without a clear sense of purpose. Ch’en K’un-hou’s striking camerawork stresses the desolate beauty of the youth’s Fengkuei existence and the more intense (but less secure) life of Kaohsiung. The baroque soundtrack (Bach, Vivaldi) perfectly underpins the picture’s involving style, aided by a central trio of performances which mingle exuberance and naturalism in equal measure.” —Derek Elley

Filmmaker Bio(s)

One of the leading figures of the Taiwanese New Cinema movement that began in 1980s, Hou Hsiao-hsien has written and directed more than 20 feature-length films and is considered one of the most influential filmmakers of our time. Voted as the “director of the decade” for the 1990s by a body of international film critics in a poll conducted by the Village Voice and Film Comment, Hou is know for his contemplative naturalistic style, employing long takes and slow camera movements. Hou frequently collaborates with renowned cinematographer Mark Lee Ping Bing, who shot The Assassin, and the celebrated author Chu Tien-wen, co-writer of the film.
Film Details
  • Country(ies): Taiwan
  • Language(s): Mandarin
  • Year: 1983
  • Running time: 100
  • Director(s): Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • Writer(s): Chu Tien-wen
  • Cinematographer(s): Ch'en K'un-hou
  • With: Doze Niu, To Tsung-hua, Lin Hsiu-ling
  • Print Source: Cinematek Belgium