A Borrowed Life

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A Borrowed Life (Chinese: 多桑, aka Duosang) is a 1994 Taiwanese film and the directorial debut of Wu Nien-jen.

The film's running time is 167 minutes.[1] Reviews by Ken Eisner in Variety and Stephen Holden in The New York Times noted that the film was autobiographical and told largely from the perspective of director Wu Nien-jen as a child.[2][3] Eisner was critical of the film for its excessive focus on the father-son relationship, which left other characters' viewpoints unexplored.[2] Chen Kuan-Hsing examined languages and dialects used in the film, linking differences to the cultural changes portrayed within, as Japanese rule was lifted and the Kuomintang assumed control of Taiwan.[4]

Selected cast[edit]

Awards and reception[edit]

The film won the Grand Prize (Prize of the City of Torino for Best Film - International Feature Film Competition) at the Torino Film Festival in Italy, a FIPRESCI/NETPAC Award at the 1995 Singapore International Film Festival and the Silver Alexander Award as well as the FIPRESCI Prize (International Federation of Film Critics Award) at the 1994 Thessaloniki Film Festival in Greece.[5] It also received the Golden Horse Audience Choice Award.[6]

Martin Scorsese considered A Borrowed Life the third best movie of the decade.[7]


  1. ^ "A Borrowed Life (Duosang)". Harvard Film Archive. September–October 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b Eisner, Ken (30 October 1994). "A Borrowed Life". Variety. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (29 March 1995). "Generation Gap for a Generation". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  4. ^ Chen, Kuan-Hsing (2010). Asia as Method: Toward Deimperialization. Duke University Press. pp. 124–135. ISBN 9780822391692.
  5. ^ Lee, Daw-Ming (2013). Historical Dictionary of Taiwan Cinema. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 415. ISBN 9780810879225.
  6. ^ Liao, Chaoyang (1997). "Borrowed Modernity: History and the Subject in A Borrowed Life". boundary 2. 24 (3): 225–245. doi:10.2307/303714. JSTOR 303714.
  7. ^ Berry, Michael (2005). Speaking in Images. Columbia University Press. pp. vii–viii. ISBN 9780231133302.

External links[edit]