Tuesday, 4 September 2007

In the Heat of the Sun (1994)

This is a multi-layered film that could be watched as a coming-of-age story that typically deals with all the universal issue of growing up - rebellion, the discovery of oneself, and conflicts of peer group's approval, sex, and relationships, and the usual teen angst. This part is universal, thus nothing new (and done to death). What is new is all this is taken place in the background of the Cultural Revolution. So this story could be viewed in turn of the 'lost generation' that caused by the fall out of that political events. Left unsupervised because of the Cultural Revolution, the kids become restless, shifting from place to place, picking fights, searching for love that they couldn't find at home, etc.

This film shows the Chinese lost generation where the Chinese youth had lost their moral and spiritual compass, reflecting the state of the country.

There're many thing that I could relate in this film: riding bicycles on the streets, the viewing of "The Red Attachment of Women" (in this list), or the Soviet films. Especially ones about the Revolution in 1917, or listen to decadent Western classic, and last but not least, street fights. I did all those things in the same period as depicted in the film. And also grew up without much parental supervision. In short, this movie might as well be the (tamer, gentler version of) biography of my adolescence. FYI, I had never grew up in PRC. But I DID grow up in a Communist regime (and fled it).

I love the scene in the movie where the kids sneak into a Western baroque interior cinema that's showing an 'adult' film with a scene of topless Jane Fonda (could be Barbarella. I can't be sure as she appeared in so many of her early films butt naked. FYI, she WAS a strong communist sympathiser, probably swept up by the whole anti Vietnam War movement). When the kids were discovered, the lights were swicthed on, we discover that the cinema is full house with party members. To justify to the kids for the watching of this Hollywood skin flick, the party member in the front row defends that they're watching this for critical judgement, and this film is poisonous to the mind. Criticism my ass (for a better mental image, Jane Fonda's ass). Don't you find the irony delicious when the poisonous Western decadent film happens to be starred with Hanoi Jane, one of their strong supporter in the West?

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