DAUGHTER OF THE NILE 尼羅河女兒 (1987,digital restoration)
PRODUCER:LU Wen-jen, TSAI Mo-ho, WANG Ying-chieh
A teenage girl, Hsiao-yang, lives with her family on the outskirt of Taipei City. Her brother, Hsiao-fang, is a criminal who steals for a living. Hsiao-yang falls in love with Ah-san, a friend of her brother’s, whose affair with the mistress of a gang leader puts everyone in danger. The uncertain and transient nature of life bewilders and frustrates Hsiao-yang. Sometimes, she would imagine that the characters and stories in the Japanese manga, Crest of the Royal Family, are vaguely linked with her own realities.
A neglected gem in Hou’s filmography, Daughter of the Nile is a neon-lit, contemporary portrait of the urban youth in 1980s Taipei. It intriguingly blends the gangster tale with poetic introspective drama, and creates a fascinating precursor to his Millennium Mambo and Goodbye South, Goodbye.