Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Panorama 40

Ching shao nien na cha

Rebels of the Neon God

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Introverted Hsiao Kang feels cooped up at home. A high school drop-out, he spends his days killing time. He has no friends to speak of. When petty criminal Ah-Tze turns up on his motorcycle and damages Hsiao Kang’s father’s taxi, Hsiao Kang begins to stalk him and his girlfriend with a mixture of doggedness and fascination. Ah-Tze’s motorcycle becomes an obsession. Following him, Hsiao Kang is drawn deeper and deeper into a world of neon-lit gambling dens and dark motel rooms in downtown Taipei.
In his breathtaking early work, Tsai Ming-liang utilises all the elements that characterise his films to this day: water pouring down from the sky or gushing from a blocked kitchen drain, deserted places, urban lawlessness, speechlessness, subtle humour and Lee Kang-sheng, his leading actor, whom he discovered on the street for this film and with whom he has collaborated in almost all his subsequent works. The result is a hypnotic, visually stunning universe traversed with violence and passion by these young rebels engaged in a search for emotional stability.

Tsaï Ming-liang

Taiwan 1992

Mandarin, Taiwanese

106’ · Colour · 2K DCP


Chen Chao-jung (Ah-Tze)
Lee Kang-sheng (Hsiao Kang)
Wang Yu-wen (Ah Kui)
Jen Chang-pin (Ah Ping)
Miao Tien (Hsiao Kang's Father)
Lu Hsiao-lin (Hsiao Kang's Mother)


Written and directed by
Tsaï Ming-liang
Director of Photography
Liao Pen-jung
Wang Chyi-yang
Hu Ting-i
Huang Shu-chun
Production Design
Lee Pao-ling
Line Producer
Jiang Feng-chyi, Heng Sui-je
Hsu Li-kong


Tsaï Ming-liang

Born in Kuching, Malaysia in 1957, he first worked as a television director. In 1994 he won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival for Vive l’amour. His films screened in the 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2014 programmes of the Berlinale, with He Liu (The River) winning a Silver Bear in 1997. His 2009 film Visage (Face) was shot in the Louvre in Paris which also co-produced the work. His recent works as an installation artist have featured in the Venice and Shanghai biennales and the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, as well as being in the permanent collection of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. He is also a playwright and theatre director.

Filmography (selection)

1992 Rebels of the Neon God; Panorama 1994 Vive l'amour 1997 The River; Competition 1998 The Hole 2001 What Time Is It There? 2002 The Skywalk Is Gone 2003 Goodbye, Dragon Inn 2005 The Wayward Cloud; Competition 2006 I Don't Want to Sleep Alone 2009 Face 2013 Stray Dogs 2014 Xi You (Journey To The West); Panorama 2015 Afternoon 2018 Your Face

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Central Motion Picture Corp.

World sales

Central Motion Picture Corp.