Rebels of the Neon God

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Rebels of the Neon God
Rebels of the neon god.jpg
Directed by Tsai Ming-liang
Produced by Hsu Li-kong
Written by Tsai Ming-liang
Starring Lee Kang-sheng
Chen Chao-jung
Jen Chang-bin
Music by Huang Shu-jun
Cinematography Liao Pen-jung
Edited by Wang Chi-yang
Release date
Running time
106 min.
127 min. (Canada)
Country Taiwan
Language Mandarin

Rebels of the Neon God (Chinese: 青少年哪吒; pinyin: Qingshaonian Nezha; literally: "Teenage Nezha") is a 1992 Taiwanese film by Tsai Ming-liang. It is his first full-length film. It tells two stories of Taipei youth. One details alienated buxiban student Hsiao Kang (Lee Kang-sheng) and his troubled interactions with his family. The other shows two petty hoods, Ah Tze and Ah Ping, along with Ah Kuei, Tze's erstwhile girlfriend. An idle act of violence brings the two groups into collision, and an act of revenge[original research?] at the end completes the circle. It is a story of troubled youth, dissatisfaction, and the alienating effect of urban life.

Much of Rebels of the Neon God is filmed in various arcades and malls in Taipei and on the streets of the city with hand-held cameras. It is filmed in a much more naturalistic manner than some of Tsai's later work.


The Taiwanese title refers to Nezha, a powerful child god in Chinese classical mythology who was born into a human family. Nezha is impulsive and disobedient. He tries to kill his father, but is brought under control when a Taoist immortal (Nezha's spiritual mentor) gives the father a miniature pagoda that enables him to control his rebellious son. This resonates in the film a number of ways: Hsiao Kang's mother believes that he is Nezha reincarnated, and Tze and Bing try to pawn off some stolen goods to an arcade proprietor named Nezha. Before the pawning of the stolen goods, Hsiao Kang vandalizes Tze's motorcycle, including graffiti stating "Here is Nezha."



The film has a score of 82 on Metacritic.[1]


The film won Golden Horse Awards for Best Original Score, Prize of the City of Torino for Best Film at the Torino International Festival of Young Cinema, and the Bronze Award at Tokyo International Film Festival.


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