Yung Shen and Hsiao Tung are inseparable friends who spend their free time roaming the hills, spelunking in abandoned mines, and chasing each other around the seaside. But the sensuous, ebullient vision of youthful bliss is suddenly shattered by an unexpected tragedy, sending the story spiraling into a sobering, emotional quest for redemption and forgiveness. As with I Don’t Dare Tell You, economic inequality and political oppression simmer below the surface of difficult adolescent relationships. Banned due to its “unhealthy” portrayal of the intimate, charged friendship between two boys, the film offers a daring exploration of homoeroticism. While traces of Italian neorealist and Japanese influence are detectable, Mou’s sophomore film is a remarkably original achievement showcasing ingenious handheld photography and rapid-cut montage. The End of the Track presents a dazzling cinematic experience from the early years of Taiwanese film history. — Yufan Chen and Hannah Baek
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