In the Heat of the Sun

In the Heat of the Sun
[Yangguang canlan de rizi, 1995]
Adapted from Wang Shuo’s novella Fierce as Beasts (Dongwu xiongmeng) by the actor Jiang Wen, In the Heat of the Sun presents the highly subjective account of a callous boy’s infatuation and coming of age. Set during the Cultural Revolution, the narrator endows this period with nostalgia for his jejune idealization of both the nation and the young dancer he admired, his ability to manipulate society and his self-affirming participation in a youth gang.
In these ways, the film refuses the historical condemnation of the Cultural Revolution. At the same time, however, the narrator calls into question his own memory, and the film concludes with his violent disillusionment and ostracism from the very subculture that had sustained him in his youth.
Braester, Yomi (2001). ‘Memory at a Standstill: ‘Street-Smart History’ in Jiang Wen’s In the Heat of the Sun’. Screen 42.4 (Winter): 350–62.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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