“A Sun” Movie Review (2019) // Is It Good For My Mandarin?

“A Sun” Movie Review for Chinese Language Learners

Today we talk about a movie called “A Sun” and why it’s good for your Mandarin learning journey!

First, let’s give you a quick introduction to the movie…

  • Simplified – 阳光普照
  • Traditional – 陽光普照
  • Pinyin – Yángguāng pǔzhào

Language – Mandarin, with a little bit of Taiyu 台语 (or Minnanhua 闽南话) in a few scenes.

Accent – Taiwanese/Southern Chinese

Available on: Netflix (with traditional and simplified subtitles)

Directed: Chung Mong-hong 钟孟宏 (2019)

Chinese Language Difficulty Level: The movie is quite slow moving which makes it easier to understand as your brain gets a bit of a break in between dialogues.

A Sun – Actors & Actresses

A Sun – Good for my Mandarin?

A Sun – The Storyline

A Sun – FAQ’s

“A Sun” – The Trailer

“A Sun” – The Actors and Actresses

The actors are all Taiwanese, so for students used to more “Northern” pronunciation it takes a while to get used to the way they speak.

I had to rely quite a bit on the simplified Chinese character subtitles.

Actors speak in a very colloquial Taiwanese way, and I learned quite a few rather fun “speak on the street” Taiwanese style.

Who is your favorite actor? Leave us a comment below please.

“A Sun” – Good for my Mandarin?

The storyline is relatively complex so while it is not necessary to understand everything, one should try to get most of it to be able to follow.

At a duration of 2:36 hours you will most likely be watching this movie in stages.

"A Sun" - The Movie

I had to use the pause and rewind functions on Netflix reasonably often when I didn’t catch a dialogue.

It is a good movie to practice Mandarin listening skills especially if you want more exposure to the way Mandarin is spoken in Taiwan, but linguistically quite challenging.

It is mainly suitable for speakers of at least intermediate Mandarin.

“A Sun” – The Storyline

A Taiwanese family struggles with the incarceration of their youngest son, family dynamics and society’s expectations of what life should look like.

It’s a great movie, with a lot of beautiful shots of everyday life in Taiwan, great acting and some fascinating characters.

However, this is not your typical Hollywood happy ending up-lifting story, so better not to watch if you are happen to be in a sad mood.

"A Sun" Movie Review

My favourite scene is when the family patriarch leaves the father of the villain on a huge Taiwanese traditional graveyard.

Reminder for Mandarin students: Do not use English subtitles. If you struggle to follow the plot, switch on Chinese subtitles, pause, replay and look up characters you do not know.

You will find this video particularly useful for subtitles on Netflix:

For more Mandarin movie reviews check out the rest of our blog which also includes app reviews and Chinese TV show reviews.

A Sun – FAQ’s

How do you say “A Sun” the movie in Chinese?

阳光普照 (yángguāng pǔzhào)

What accent is “A Sun” the movie in?

The movie uses the Taiwanese/Southern Chinese dialect.

Can I watch “A Sun” on Netflix.

You can indeed!

A Sun is available with traditional and simplified subtitles.

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