The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

A Brighter Summer Day

Our September Volunteer of the Month is Jenny Le, who has chosen Edward Yang’s 1991 drama A Brighter Summer Day as her VOTM pick!

After failing a test, Xiao Si’r, youngest son in his family of seven, is demoted from day school to the far less prestigious night school. While his parents fret over money, their children’s futures, and compliance with the military state, Xiao Si’r and his friends are embroiled in a bloody feud between two gangs. To complicate matters even further, Xiao Si’r takes a liking to a girl named Ming, whose boyfriend is currently in hiding after killing a rival gang member over her.

An epic of turbulent adolescence, A Brighter Summer Day is based on Yang’s own memories of his childhood in Taipei.


“This is one of those movies that embeds you so successfully in its world that the prospect of leaving it can inspire premature pangs of melancholy.”  – A. A. Dowd, The A.V. Club

“…Yang uses his aesthetic to bring into light that which is dark.” – Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

“Colored by Mr. Yang’s memories of the world he grew up in, it is one of those movies that, by slow accretion of detail and bold dramatic vision, disclose the structure and feeling of an entire world.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times