Alternate Titles: 暑假作業
Bao, an adolescent from an upper-middle-class home, is deposited by his work-distracted father at his grandfather’s house in the countryside near Taipei for the summer. Life at Grandpa confronts Bao with a few rude shocks: there’s no cable TV and Grandpa, who’s curmudgeonly but sweet, wants to induct the initially reluctant Bao into the local style of life. Eventually, Bao befriends his new classmates, especially little charismatic showman Ming-chuan. It seems as if the film will settle into a gentle, glowing, elegiac groove. But Chang is merely setting up the elements for a deeply moving second act. More complicated shadows imperceptibly creep into the frame: Bao’s parents are negotiating a divorce; Bao’s young teacher has family secrets of her own.
With poetic visuals and sporadic touches of humor, the film deals with such deeper themes as loss, separation, and secrecy.