Winds of September (九降風) is a new Taiwanese film directed by Tom Shu-Yu Lin (林書宇). The movie, set in Xinzhu in 1996, focuses on a group of seven friends at high school. The film is a teenage drama much in the style of Summer's Tail and Eternal Summer which I reviewed earlier. The serious themes and good acting make it similar in quality to the Eternal Summer.
The seven boys form a tight knit gang lead by Yen. They drink beer, smoke cigarettes and ride motorbikes: behaviour pretty much typical of teenagers. The movie is focused on exploring the nature of their friendships and how they change through time.
Although this is predominantly a film about male relationships, the role played by Xiao Yun (Yen's girlfriend) is interesting. Just as the boys struggle to come to terms with the world and their expectations, Xiao Yun struggles to break free from her relationship with Yen. Tang, Yen's best friend, fancies Xiao Yun but never has the courage to tell her. In the end Xiao Yun shows more courage than Tang in dealing with the relationship. I think it shows the difficulties both men and women face in their gender roles.
Baseball also forms a backdrop to the story as the boys follow the games. Simultaneously the story about gambling and match fixing breaks. Liao Min-hsiung (廖敏雄), one of the baseballers who was involved in the match fixing also plays a small part in the film. The boys subsequently losing interest in baseball also mirrors the changing nature of their friendships.
Hong Kong star Eric Tsang (曾志偉) was a producer and also appears in the film. He has been inspired to produce two more films based on similar themes — one in China and one in Hong Kong.
The film was well made with a good tight script. And I am sure it will appeal to Taiwanese teenagers and twenty-somethings.
- Official movie blog
- Winds of September – trailer @ YouTube
- Graduation day – Taipei Times review
- Lin Shu-yu hits a home run – Taipei Times interview
- Lin explores loss of innocence in film 'Winds of September' – Taiwan News/culture.tw interview