Prince Of Tears (2010) Film Review

Prince Of Tears is a historical drama directed by well-known Hong Kong film director, Yonfan. A look into 1950s Taiwan, the film documents a young family during an era when Communists — and suspected Communists — were questioned and detained by the Taiwanese government. It is a tale of simultaneous betrayal and loyalty, where best friends turn into enemies and women take on lovers to secure social status. It offers a glimpse into a controversial era in Taiwanese history that is rarely discussed or even known outside of the country.

Prince Of Tears utilizes expertly crafted sets and cinematography to give viewers a look back into a time where some families were torn apart by simple accusations and others were living in extravagance. A focus is placed upon one family with two girls who find themselves abandoned when their parents are taken by the government. They are pitifully shuffled from family to family, but they are not without fault. Starting from the very first scene of the film, when the younger sister’s professor is captured, the younger sister’s naivete becomes the root cause of trouble to all those around her. Without even knowing it, she brings about tragedy upon tragedy, and Prince Of Tears becomes a film with no shortage of tears. But unlike similar films where tension becomes unbearable and misunderstandings become frustrating, Prince Of Tears is excellently paced and even the most questionable of decisions becomes understandable, to a degree.

To some, Prince Of Tears might seem overly dramatic. But, to those who are familiar with Chinese culture, the film might ring true. Most of the characters can indeed be described as intense or dramatic, but they are not inaccurately portrayed; they simply hold onto traditional values of family far beyond the notion of self, like anyone who has experienced loss might.

May 26, 2010 @ 9:15 PM (Admiral Theatre)

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/she) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

In 2017, Vee released the narrative short film, Searching Skies — which touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States — and co-organized The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. 2022 sees the release of their next short film, Reckless Spirits, which is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature film.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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