The groundbreaking 1987 drama Daughter of the Nile, from one of modern world cinema’s most acclaimed filmmakers has received a 4K digital restoration to coincide with its 30th anniversary.
A rediscovered gem in the filmography of Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien (A City of Sadness, The Assassin, Three Times, Flight of the Red Balloon), Daughter of the Nile is a neon-lit, contemporary drama inspired by the heroine of a Japanese manga series. With Hou’s gentle but keen observation, the film follows a young woman and her brother as they float along the periphery of the Taipei underworld, intriguingly blending gangster tale with mood-drenched introspective drama. Based on the personal experiences of frequent Hou screenwriter Chu T’ien-wen (Millennium Mambo; Goodbye South, Goodbye; A City of Sadness), Daughter of the Nile is a profoundly moving observation of marginalized youth.
The New York Times critic A.C. Scott said Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “work, over more than 30 years, is a catalog of visual beauty and formal innovation.” Writing in Film Comment, Andrew Chang said, “Daughter of the Nile represents something special: the kind of modestly crafted masterpiece a director makes just before he comes into recognition of his own stature.” Scarlet Cheng of The Washington Post called it “slick and delightfully offbeat.”
The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 1987 Turin International Festival of Young Cinema and was entered into the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hou Hsiao-hsien emerged in the 1980s to become one of the leading figures, along with Edward Yang and Chen Kunhou, of the New Taiwanese Cinema, a movement away from the kung fu films and overwrought melodramas of the past to an emphasis on realistic portrayals of everyday life – a style often compared to Italian neorealism. How’s Daughter of the Nile sits among a string of masterpieces – A Summer at Grandpa’s, A City of Sadness, The Puppetmaster, Flowers of Shanghai – that led him to be voted Director of the Decade for the 1990s in a poll of American and international critics put together by The Village Voice and Film Comment. His most recent film, The Assassin, brought him the Best Director prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
.Audio commentary track by film scholar Richard Suchenski
.A new interview with Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns
.2017 re-release trailer
Daughter of the Nile Blu-Ray-$30.99
Daughter of the Nile DVD-$25.99