Goodbye South, Goodbye | Chicago Reader

Goodbye South, Goodbye

Hou Hsiao-hsien's discursive 1996 drama follows the wanderings of Kao, a small-time gangster with big dreams; his sidekick Flathead; their girlfriends Ying and Pretzel; and a motley cast of characters—including a rural cop and a crooked politician—as they struggle to get ahead. We're treated with splendid shots of the countryside, whose beauty is lost on the protagonists: the land they love is a stagnant backwater of urbanized Taipei despoiled by industrialization. Using intimate vignettes and keeping most of the violence offscreen, Hou opens a fascinating window onto modern Taiwan. In Hokkien and Mandarin with subtitles.


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