Three siblings live without their parents in the Taipei of the 1980s. Hsiao-yang works at Kentucky Fried Chicken, her brother has been a thief since he was a child, and her little sister has also already begun stealing. Their mother is dead and the father works as a police officer in the country’s south. Hsiao-yang goes to night school; her brother runs a restaurant with his cronies. Misconduct by one of the partners, who is a friend of Hsiao-yang, leads to her brother getting drawn into a gang war. Before the friend can flee to Japan, he’s shot … Hou Hsiao-hsien draws a melancholy portrait of a group of hedonistic, yet lost young people. Contemporary Taiwan pop music is the soundtrack for this tale of those young people cruising the Taipei of neon ads, when they’re not in a jeep on the way to the beach for night-time parties – perhaps sensing that the clique will soon disband. Hsiao-yang counters the fleeting nature of things that is everywhere palpable with her dedicated reading of ancient Egyptian-themed manga, which has also given Hou’s film its title. – World premiere of the digitally restored version in 4K DCP.
by Hou Hsiao-hsien
with Yang Lin, Jack Kao, Chen Shu-fang, Hsin Shu-fen