• Golden Globe Awards

A Sun (Taiwan)

A Sun is the latest film by Taiwanese director, writer, and cinematographer Chung Mong-Hong. In 2019, the film won Taiwan’s most prestigious Golden Horse Awards including Best Film and Best Director. Chung also helmed the cinematography of the film under his pseudo name Nagao Nakashima.
The film starts with a disturbing scene when a man’s hand gets chopped off at a hotpot restaurant. As two young men, A-Ho and Radish, flee from the crime scene, Hakka music composer Lin Sheng-Xiang’s mellow score brings us to a rather calm and ordinary court scene. Emotionally detached, A-Ho’s father Mr. Chen asks the judge for the harshest sentence in order to teach his young boy a lesson of life. As A-Ho is sent to a juvenile detention facility, the Chen family’s life seemingly resumes its normalcy. A-Ho’s older brother A-Hao is handsome, well-behaved, and studying to apply for Taiwan’s elite medical school. He is the golden child of the family – “a sun” that shines brightly. Working as a coach at a local driving school, Mr. Chen tells his student that he has only one son and that’s A-Hao.
Over the course of 155 minutes, Chung Mong-Hong slowly reveals family Chen’s secrets as each character arc unfolds. A-Ho’s pregnant girlfriend’s unexpected visit shows how little his parents know about their troubled son’s life. Then A-Hao makes a surprising decision that crumbles the family even more. In A Sun, Chung Mong-Hong explores the dramatic potential of family dynamics through his patient camera movement. His lens intimately studies the interactions between a great ensemble. Taiwanese veteran actor Yi-wen Chen who plays Mr. Chen and newcomer Kuan-Ting Liu who plays A-Hao respectively won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the 2019 Golden Horse Awards. Generously supporting Yi-wen Chen’s performances, Samantha Shu-Chin Ko who portrays Mrs. Chen gently delivers a relatable performance.
Along with directors like Wei Te-sheng and Tsai Ming-liang, Chung Mong-Hong is a pivotal component of Taiwan’s contemporary cinema. After studying filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chung returned to Taiwan and made his first feature film Parking (2008). The film was nominated for Golden Camera and Un Certain Regard Award at the 61st annual Cannes Film Festival. Two years later, Chung brought The Fourth Portrait – a film that looks into the life of abused and neglected children in Taiwan. The film won Chung his first Best Director award at the Golden Horse Awards.  In his latest work Soul (2013) and Godspeed (2016), Chung continued to tell local yet universal stories with his unique storytelling style that often unfolds films at a captivating pace. His film Soul was Taiwanese submission for the 86th Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.