4 March 2016 | j-m-d-b
This early film by Hou Hsiao-hsien is a light-hearted feel-good movie. It is a very endearing story of goings-on in a small village, a lot of it seen through the eyes of children, and as such it is quite pure and somewhat naive.
I was smiling constantly for the first third of the film, because it so warmly and lovingly portrays its characters, particularly the schoolchildren. There is some drama as the film progresses but while it is genuinely touching it is not major and everything is resolved before the movie is over. The final act is yet again light-hearted although now we know that there is a little more than meets the eye. The film has a happy end and I left the theater with a lifted spirit.