Bright colors seem to represent all that is good about life, such as freedom, nature, food and love, while darker colors represent danger and secrets. At a political rally, Mabel happens to see riot police positioning themselves along the walls of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, as if they are just waiting for the signal to move in. My sense is that Yang sees the latter protest as an extension of the earlier ones. We watch as they fight against the censorship of a student newspaper and the draconian behaviors of their school officials, while simultaneously coping with issues more normally associated with the teenage years — attraction, first kisses, unrequited love. The first is the story of Mabel, Liam, and Aaron, three high school classmates in southern Taiwan. As the film progresses, politics becomes less of a factor in their lives. It is filled with interesting characters and fascinating insights into both Taiwanese history and Taiwanese culture. His use of colors and shadows is particularly striking.
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