Skip to main content

Display problems? View this newsletter in your browser.

Taiwanese Auteur Chung Mong-hong’s Masterpiece “A SUN” Finally Lands on American Film Critics’ Radar

“A SUN(陽光普照),” directed and co-written by Taiwanese auteur Chung Mong-hong (鍾孟宏), has been named as one of "the best films of 2020" by American film critic Peter Debruge for Variety. Couple days later, another film critic David Ehrlich published a review in IndieWire, saying that “A SUN” demands serious Oscar consideration. The film is selected as the Taiwanese entry for the Best International Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards. The Oscars ceremony will be held April 25, 2021.

In fact, before the Variety selection, “A SUN” had already earned international acclaim outside the United States. It premiered at the Toronto international Film Festival on September 6, 2019. TIFF’s programmer Giovanna Fulvi says the film is “melancholic and lyrical, yet interspersed with sudden outbursts of genre immersions.” Afterwards, the film was selected by various international film festivals, such as Busan International Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival, Singapore International Film Festival, and Palm Spring International Film Festival.

Domestically, the film received 11 nominations at the 56th Golden Horse Awards, winning Best Narrative Feature, Best Director, Best Leading Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing and Audience Choice. 

“A SUN” was acquired by Netflix in January this year. That means the film is accessible to more than 67million subscribers in the United States. However, just like Ehrlich put it, “Movies have never been more accessible, and they’ve never been harder to find.” “In a world flooded with content,” the film had sunk “into the murk like shipwrecks.” Thankfully, the film is getting a lot more attention now.

Debruge praises the film as an “epic redemption saga,” which “focuses on the dynamic between a black-sheep son and the father whose disappointment and shame risks eclipsing the young man’s redemption.” The film “transcends subtitles to address universal truths about the way approval and encouragement works in parent-child relationships.” Ehrlich describes the film as “a riveting moral odyssey that mixes elements of broad comedy, ultra-violence, melodrama, and even a splash of animation into the slow-boiling stew of everyday human existence.”

Read more.

About Taiwanese filmmaker Chung Mong-hong

Chung Mong-hong, aka his pseudonym Nagao Nakashima, is a Taiwanese film director, screenwriter and cinematographer. He received a BS in Computer Engineering from National Chao Tung University in Taiwan, and an MFA in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Chung Mong-hong has established himself as one of the boldest voices in contemporary Asian cinema. Remaining unjustly unknown in America, his films encompass everything from documentary to psychological horror, retaining a unique quality that is darkly comic, strikingly stylish, and subtly surreal.” – BAMcinématek, 2015

“As the director of Soul (TIFF '13) and Godspeed (TIFF '16), and a producer on The Great Buddha+ (TIFF '17), Chung has established himself as an innovative filmmaker, and this marks another creative chapter in his career.” – Toronto International Film Festival, 2019

Lately, he had produced another two films: A Leg() and Classmate Minus(同學麥娜絲). The former was nominated for Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Makeup & Costume Design at the 57th Golden Horse Awards, while the later got 9 nominations, including Best Narrative Feature, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Film Music, Best Film Editing, and Best Art Direction.

Read more.


1 East 42nd Street, Floor 7th, New York, NY 10017, USA
Ph: +1-212-697-6188  |  Fax: +1-212-697-630


If you would like to stop receiving weekly notifications from Taiwan's Ministry of Culture, click here to unsubscribe.