Directed by Wei-Shan Yu
Free for UCSD students, faculty, and staff
Official Selection, 2015 Taipei Film Festival
Bao-Li and Jia-Jia first meet on the rooftop of their middle school. It’s not the kind of heroic meeting that sparks love or ignites passion. But for two kids stumbling into the same place at just the right time, it’s the kind of meeting that can connect them forever.
Before long, there is a baby. Sunny Yu’s remarkable debut THE KIDS jumps liberally across time and over our many questions about how Bao-Li and Jia-Jia are now working dropouts and where they may be going. The film has an arresting way of overlapping revelations about the past with a plot in the present that steps forward slowly like the two leads do, tentatively learning how to co-exist and grow up.
With a Dardennes-esque view but a youthful flair, THE KIDS gathers precious sympathy the more it reveals about Bao-Li and Jia-Jia’s families, their affairs, and their financial woes. Yu’s elliptical approach keeps the audience actively invested in understanding the teens’ options, and also loads every moment with potential weight, from a throwaway line to an unexpected gift, all the way to the hard-hitting climax. –Brian Hu