+++ Opinion +++
Whether it’s genuine Netflix originals like “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga” (11th place) and “The Prom” (18th place) or purchased films like “The Black Diamond” (5th place), which are shown in Germany directly at the Streaming giants appeared – several highlights that landed exclusively on Netflix in Germany landed in our list of the best films of 2020.
The fact that “A Sun” didn’t find a place there was mainly due to the fact that director Mong-Hong Chung’s drama, which started on January 24, 2020, simply flew under the radar. Even in the world of critics, “A Sun” was neglected for a long time – until Peter Debruge von Variety praised it as the “best film of 2020” at the end of last year.
Even after two years, the many hymns of praise for “A Sun” have not really gotten to the Netflix audience, so that one of the best films of the recent past still eke out an existence as an insider tip…
Brothers A-Hao (Greg Han Hsu) and A-Ho (Wu Chien-Ho) couldn’t be more different: A-Hao is the pride of his family, smart and attractive – and about to pursue a career as a doctor. A-Ho, on the other hand, hardly finds any recognition, is a criminal and one day even ends up behind bars. That doesn’t surprise his father (Chen Yi-wen), who is always disappointed by him. Before the judge, he pleads for the maximum penalty for his descendant. A-Ho should finally learn his lesson.
Mother Quin (Samantha Shu-Chin Ko) looks on helplessly, but is soon confronted with the next worries – because suddenly a pregnant girl is at the door. In her womb: the child of the locked away and disowned by his own father, A-Ho – known in prison only as number 101896.
It helps us to find our bearings, gives us warmth and strength. And yet sometimes we can hardly stand it, the sun, so we look for a shady spot so that we don’t burn ourselves. It’s often the same in life. It hits us anew every day, sometimes more and sometimes less, spurs us on to strive for the best in ourselves or tempts us to follow our impulses. While some prefer to live in the shadows, things can’t get hot enough for others. But what really counts in the end?
“A Sun” isn’t a film that you just look away from after a hard day’s work. Because on the one hand it is only available in the original sound (Mandarin) with German subtitles and on the other hand it gives its characters the necessary time in its more than 150 minutes to become tangible people of flesh and blood who fight their way through life, which is paved with blows of fate lives – who through all the suffering they experience, also find new hope in the end. In order not only to understand this development, this career, but also to actually absorb it, “A Sun” just takes its time – but it’s worth it.
If director Chung doesn’t break his calm narrative style with moments of shock that can really make you spit, he gives his audience the opportunity to pay attention to the nuances of this multi-layered story – and to get caught up in the maelstrom of unfulfilled ones Expectations, false pride and harrowing tragedies to find a bit of yourself.
With its unobtrusively painterly images, which are as big as they are personal, as simple as they are spectacular, “A Sun” is pure metropolitan poetry – where people philosophise about Sima Guang at the bus stop, which is shrouded in bright light at night, even the most uncomfortable rain appears in the right light like a warm refuge, where sons become numbers and numbers become sons.
Even if the moral of the story is quite obvious in the end, “A Sun” leaves a lot of room for interpretation, for discussion and last but not least for reflection on one’s own view of things – of the sun and shadows and everything in between.
This is a re-release of an article previously published on DashFUN.