Synapses (2019) - full transcript

There are many problems in the Zhang family, but one eventful summer changes many things. Zhang Junxiong is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and that weighs heavily on his wife Wang Feng and the rest of the family. Zhang's daughter Xiao Meng is released on parole from a long prison term and struggles to reconnect with her illegitimate son Ah Chuan and her ex-boyfriend Ah Wen. A domestic crisis is narrowly averted when Zhang reconnects with his former aide-de-camp Cheng'en, a man for whom he has always harboured tender feelings. Paradoxically, the incident which does most to heal the family's wounds is the assassination of Ah Wen by a gangland rival. The Zhangs move to a new and better home. The young Ah Chuan is left pondering the meaning and value of memories. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Grandpa says...

In his memories...

the breezes are fragrant...

there are reflections in the water...

and the trees sway in the wind

He says

Life is just like an album of images

if the memories weren't there...

maybe his life could
change a bit for the better

Have it while it's hot


- Come on!
- I'll be right there

Ah Chuan!

Dinner time!

- Fine - Come on!

You took Grandpa to the market

So you should be the one to look after him

Don't let him wander
off by himself like that

What if you couldn't find him?

Would you get me a new Grandpa?

I didn't mean to

So what happened?

I told him to wait in the market

And he just wandered off

I had to go find Mr Turkey

I had to get an egg from him

- What egg?
- A turkey egg

Why did you need that?

For my homework!

Those eggs you gave me from the fridge...

They won't hatch

Those eggs are dead

The chicks died ages ago

Whatever egg you get, it won't hatch

Where do chickens come from then?

They're hatched from eggs, aren't they?


Caught in the act!

Feng, you got here at last!

You heartless people

Sit here!

How can you start gambling without me?


I'll put ten bucks on you...

Since you're on a winning streak

Don't worry, it'll look great

Now the upper lip...

Keep your face still

Are you a monkey? Come on...

Keep your face still

Your grandma took many days off for
you recently, everything alright?

It's our busiest time

She says I need to practice more

It's okay Ah-Chuan,
I know you are a good boy

But you should still finish your homework

You see, all your classmate
hatched their eggs

Last time Gran gave me
an egg from the fridge

- An egg from the fridge?
- It's impossible to be hatched

Toss it!

Right up!

You didn't notice the ceiling?

My Grandma...


Is a very kind person


She works very hard

Since I was three


has been taking me...

and my uncle on stage...

to act in Taiwanese operas

She always says that...

spending thirty minutes on stage...

is like racing through...

thirty years of real life

I don't get what she and Grandpa say

I really don't understand


Gran says...

In a few days, my mother...

will come out of prison

It makes me think...


my dad will soon show up too

Anyone here?

I'm back


I'm home

Who are you looking for?


It's me

Xiao Meng

Ma, Sis is back



Why put the fire there? You got it wrong!

Watch out, dear

Where have the neighbors gone?

It's the urban renewal.
I want to move out too

Don't come in yet!

Yuchang, here

Stay where you are!

What's wrong?

You set the fire on the wrong threshold!

How should I know which door?
We have all these doors...

What are you talking about? The front door!

- Ma, what's wrong?
- Nothing...

Out of the way!


Step over the fire

Burn away the bad luck!

Step over the fire, burn away the bad luck

Bring us health and happiness!

Yeah, we need it!

- What?
- Go on...

It's Xiao Meng!

Your daughter!

- She's back!
- Sis...

Everything okay here?

Sure, it's fine

Ah Chuan

Ah Chuan

It's your ma

Ah Chuan

You wanna sit by her? We can swap seats

- How about it?
- Ah Chuan!

Stop drawing! Eat your dinner!

Come on

Eat up!

- Okay - What's the matter?


He's grown up a lot

That's right. In six years...

It's what you'd expect


You've put on weight too

Haven't you?

Weren't you quite thin before?

You stuffed yourself in jail?


You should eat more

Ah Chuan, pick up Grandpa's chopsticks

He dropped them

Grandpa peed!


Let's go to the bedroom and get changed

Come, get up

Let's get changed

Where's the roof?

Blown away in the typhoon

Sleep here for tonight


I'll get the room ready

When I done cleaning your dad's room

You can sleep there

Dad... doesn't sleep in his own room?

Whatever you like

Get some rest

Ah Chuan

Your ma's upstairs

- You want to talk to her?
- No


Ah Chuan...

Why not go upstairs?

C'mon, I'll go with you

Don't want to

Why not?

Take this

It's from your dad

Buy some new clothes

And get rid of the ones you're wearing

The things you had in prison...

Bad luck

Make sure you throw them away

Don't go on wearing what you wore in prison

It's bad luck

How's dad doing?

I'm taking him to the hospital

Mr Turkey!

Mr Turkey!

Mr Turkey!

Ah Chuan, all right there?

Mr Turkey...

In our house...

there's now one more person

My ma's back now

- She's out of jail - Oh

It's a holiday homework project

We're supposed to hatch an egg

What kind of egg?

- A chicken egg?
- One that will hatch, so...

- Any kind of egg will do?
- Yup

Can you give me one?

You want...

one of my turkey eggs?

I don't think any of this lot will do

- Why not?
- How about one from the next lot?

These are too old

You couldn't make one of them hatch

You'd be wasting your efforts

No point


Sorry to disappoint you

The file says you've spent time
in Hong Kong and Canada

What were you doing there?

I spent awhile in Canada

And then...

I was in Hong Kong and Mainland China
with my father

All told, two or three years

Mostly I was studying dance

Since your release...

have you met your husband?


Forgive me...

The file isn't clear on this point

Is he your boyfriend?

He's not my husband

We're not formally married

But we have a child


What about friends? Been
in touch with any friends?

Only with...

some of the people I met in prison

I have a small suggestion

It may be helpful to you

Based on my experience...

working on previous cases...

It's a good idea to
refresh your social circle

Those bad friends...

The ones who got you intro trouble
in the first place...

Better to avoid them, don't contact them

Don't forget you're under probation
for six more years

if there's the least problem...

not to mention anything more serious...

Something like drink-driving,
you'll go straight back into custody


Keep up your self-respect

Your boy is still young,
he'll need plenty of looking-after

Just... try to be good

Make sure your six years
in prison weren't wasted

That's my sincere advice

Take it slow

Ma'am, I'll try to explain it to you

We've given your husband...

a thorough examination

The results suggest the
onset of Alzheimer's

We're prescribing a
course of Aricept for him

That will slow down the
progress of the disease

But it won't cure the disease

So his capacity to look after himself...

may decline slightly as time goes on

Beyond that, there might be changes
in his personality

His temperament could become unstable

There's also the possibility...

that he will experience difficulty...

in recognizing those around him

Even with the medicine...

his condition won't improve?

It will definitely help

It's our standard
prescription for this disease

But the way it works...

is to slow down the
progress of the disease

It's not a cure for the disease itself

That means that eventually...

he'll forget things from the past too?

Yes, that's possible

It's not unusual...

that patients become
more obviously forgetful

I see

Your girl is back?

That's right

Your little Ah Chuan...

must be happy? To have his mother back?

Why would he?

When she was sent to prison
he was just an infant

Ah Chuan was only two or three

He doesn't remember anything

She may be his mother,
but I'm the one who brought him up

As I see it, now she's back...

Well, she's the mother

That's all there is to it

You want me to meet Ah Chuan?

- Yes - Of course I want to

It's so long since I last saw you

I almost forget how you look

So you haven't had sex for six years?

You must be gagging for it, no?

Come, give me a kiss


Sit down


Okay, you'd better go



Are you sick?

- That's right, I'm sick - Just leave

Falling for you made me sick

You made me sick

I myself think I'm pretty sick


Do you love me?

You think that's funny?

I did love you

Now I don't remember

You think it's funny? Darling...

It's really that funny?

Fucking hell! It doesn't matter

Just leave

I also think I'm a fucking failure

Why don't you love me, even a little bit?

Why did I have Ah Chuan?

- Why did you get me pregnant?
- Just leave!

Why did you get me pregnant?
I want to know!

Are you off your head?

Yes I fucking am!

I don't remember

Don't have regrets

Leave the past behind

What does matter, then?

What matters?

What do you actually care about?

- I've lost one pen - Which one?

It's light blue, seen it?

Can you even tell what color it is?

And you go accusing people of taking it!

Have you got it or not?

Of course not! Why would I take your pen?

It's here

If you keep scattering pens everywhere...

you'll fill the room with them!

It's because you're almost never here

Get on with your homework

Why don't you sleep with your ma?

I don't even know her, why should I?

What do you mean you don't know her?

- She's your ma!
- I told you, I don't know her!

She's still your ma

Then you should sleep with Gran!

I'm a man!

A grown man!

Your birthday is coming up soon

You know what?

An old friend is coming to see you


Someone you know well

You'll know when they arrive

Everyone's moved out

Uncle Guan left

My old commander left

We're the only ones still here


And they're telling us to go too

But you like it here, never mind

Your beloved wife will stay here with you

Back when your mother was still with us...

she was always telling you...

to take me out

To take me away...

on trips

Oh, and...

to take me to see shows

Dance performances, all kinds of things

You've always been great

Your mother used to say...

Wow, what a fine man you are

As leader of the Armed
Forces Entertainments Division...

you did so much to boost morale

You really did!

Your hands are so beautiful

This one's done, come on...

Give me the other one

I remember that time
when Ah Chuan first goes to school

He was being teased

You consoled him

Told him that being
colorblind doesn't matter

I think you were right

There are times when seeing too clearly...

is not such a good thing

You're a calm and steady person

But you have an adventurous
streak too, you know

You love the roar of the crowd


Arms out!

Hold out the whip and take a step

Same side as your arm


That's it

Move your hands too

There are tadpoles

How do you say that in Taiwanese?

Don't know

- "Tadpoles"
- "Tadpoles"

Tad poles

- Brother Dao - Brother Dao

You little fucker,
I told you to stop pulling these stunts

What do you think you're doing?

What do you mean?

The way I see it, the land's here

I put up my poster and call it mine

You think it's yours?

You bet, can't you see?

Want land? Call Ah Wen.
Satisfaction guaranteed!

Putting up a piece of paper makes it yours?

Sure, it's dead simple

Can't someone else do the exact same thing?

If anyone tries, I'll tear it down

You know whose land this is?


It's Dragontail's... from the Coast Gang


That's cool

I like a nice challenge!

Stop fooling around

You can't even handle your women

Let alone your work!

You know your ma still
has a legal customs brokerage?

You do know that?

What line of business are you in now?

Hooking people up and live streaming

- Plus this turf business - All legal?

Borderline legal

Yeah, all talk and no beef

That's why he pisses people off

And now this turf nonsense

I don't want to go on relying on you lot

You don't want to rely on us?

Who else can you rely on?

- Myself!
- By causing your own trouble?

No way! You should stop fretting

So you make a mess and we have
to clean up after you?

No need to clean anything up,
I'll take care of any cleaning-up myself

My women can help with that

Same old, same old

Sure, and now my ex and my new girlfriend
are both here

Get real!

You are full already?

Your face is bright red

I gave you the money to buy new clothes

But I see you spent it all...

getting drunk, right?

It's strange! Aren't you just out of jail?

But you have all these
friends you have to see

And you can't help getting drunk with them!

Why did you start dinner without me?

You weren't here

Who knew when you'd be back?

Enough of that

Just get her some rice

She could have dad's bowl

Just do it

Can't you set a good
example in front of the kid?


And what about Grandpa?



You heard she called you 'Grandpa'?

I'm jealous

Uncle Zhang, nice to see you

Meishen, are you married yet?

Not yet, the dog keeps me happy for now

I don't want to marry early

- What is it with young people today?
- What can I say?

Having a pet is better than
raising their own kids?

Just ask Wenlin, she feels the same way

- That's right!
- That's what girls are like these days

But look at her kids, they're so adorable!

Don't you want more of them?


You must say: Grandma,
I have a gift for you

- Can you do that?
- A gift for you

That's so nice! Thank you!

Say something, dear

It's so long since we
last saw Brother Zhang

You still recognize him?

They used to live next door

And now they've come back to see us

How is Brother Zhang's health?

Getting a bit worse

Right, so he's like this now

Still, living in a place
like this these days...

it seems quite inconvenient

And I've heard that...

the power supply isn't very stable

Anyhow, we moved out some years ago

And things are much better where we are now

Yes, I'm sure it's better where you are now

But he doesn't want to move

Maybe you should reconsider it

Yes, you might have second thoughts

Uncle Zhang... it's not
all that comfortable here

Moving out of here would
make things a bit better

What the hell?

This is my home!

I'm not moving!

Of course...

Protect the home, defend the country

If we don't protect out home,
how can we defend our country?

Don't worry...

- This turkey egg is for you
- It's a turkey egg?


You can study it for your summer homework

And write your report

- Take care to hatch it properly!
- But...

Didn't you say...

it will take much longer?

Yes, quite a bit longer

But my turkey didn't lay this egg

It's not from your turkey?

It's from my turkeys friend

You have friends, I have friends

And the turkey has friends too

So please take it for what it is

Don't be upset, it's all right

Now I can get on with the project



- But what?
- Weren't you supposed to use... a chicken egg?

And this is a turkey egg, will it be okay?

It's fine. After all, they're both eggs

Good point!

- And at least it's not a duck egg
- That's right!

Eggs from turkeys and chickens
are much the same, aren't they?

Pretty much

That's how you keep it alive?

It won't hatch for some time

I always thought...

a turkey egg would be bigger

But actually it's not

Just a bit bigger than a chicken egg

What about when you're asleep?

You bring it to bed?

No, it'll stay here

As it is? What if it doesn't hatch?

You'll fail the project

I'm not like you

Sure, whatever

I heard your ma say...

you'll be meeting your dad soon

Better not let Gran know

Yeah, I know

Like it?


Everyone has them now

Don't want it

Why not? Come on!

It's your dad's gift

It's okay, he doesn't have to like it

Come on! Ah Chuan...

Don't want it

Just let him be

Ah Chuan...

Pick what you want to eat

All the food here is fresh

The ones in yellow are out of season

They don't have them now

- They don't have it?
- That's right

But it doesn't seem like yellow to me

More like green

This section is red

And the ones at the bottom?

- Ah Chuan, what color is this?
- You tell me

This is yellow

You can't tell?

Red, green and yellow...

- You can't see the difference?
- I always get them mixed up

You can't tell the
difference between colors?

Fucking hell!
You didn't know the kid is colorblind?

How was I supposed to know in jail?

He was only three when I went in

What the fuck do you know?

She only just got out,
how was she supposed to know?

It's okay, Ah Chuan

I'm having lunch with my son
at the chicken restaurant

It's Luo again?

That damn snitch


Fix a time for it, I'll wait for him

Ah Chuan...

What's that you're looking at?

Who gave you that?

Didn't I tell you...

not to take things from
people you don't know?

You did, but it wasn't me who took it

I don't want it

Why not? It's from your father

I shouldn't take things from strangers

That's what Gran says

It's not from a stranger

It's from your father

I don't know him, he's
pretty much a stranger

Why did you take Ah Chuan to meet Ah Wen?

While you were in jail...

he never came to see Ah Chuan

Never gave the boy a thought

Why do you even see him?

Ah Wen...

He hid drugs in your bag

Put them in Ah Chuan's milk-powder can

So you got sent down for twelve years

And served six of them

Why do you still see those scummy people?

You just put yourself at risk again

What's the point of spending time...

with those low-life types?


What's wrong with me?

Why am I so messed-up?

Tell me!

I was inside for six whole years

How many times did you come to visit me?

Ah Chuan is your grandson

But I'm not your daughter?


Have you ever cared about me?

Well, have you?

Look at father

To be frank, it all seems laughable to me

You're always telling him lies

And look what he's turned into!
What was the point?

Did it make you happy?

Are you happy?

You dropped your knickers and got pregnant

So you're happy! Am I happy?

Now you talk to me like this...

Does that make you happy?

How can you talk to me like this...


Your homework isn't done
yet, go and finish it

Go on


My girl has always been stubborn,
since she was small

I'll make sure she does her homework

Don't be angry


Let's take a photo with your teacher

Come on

Teacher, shall we take a photo together?

Sit there... that's good, right there

Come on, daughter...

Come here

Have a photo with your teacher

A bit closer

Looks good

This way

A little closer

I'll count to three


One, two, three

Dragontail, this is how it is...

Ah Wen can tell you
himself, see what you think

I've done my bit by calling this meeting

How you resolve the conflict is up to you

If Ah Wen behaves like this...

and Dragontail doesn't accept it,
it is our problem

Brother Dao... what is there to discuss?

What is there to say?


What is there to discuss?

For example... what do
you think about the land?

I've already flagged it as my turf

I'm very sorry... today we're...

He marched in and claimed my land!

- Dragontail, I know...
- I can't just ignore what he did!

Let's try to stay calm

I know you've come here today...

in the hope that we can all be friends

From here on in, all of us...

including Brother Dao, should be friends

I ain't here to be friends with you

Today, Brother Dao...

I came here just because I respect him

What does this jerk have to say to me?

He's just out for himself

Why would he deserve a share?

His claim has no merit

Brother Dao, I'm going
to take one step back

Since I've come to this meeting...

don't ever say I'm
bullying this piece of shit

I could send him two crates
of tomatoes as a gift, okay?

You know how to eat tomatoes?

Ah Wen, listen when someone talks to you!

We're here to solve a problem...

and you're on about tomatoes?

You have nothing better to contribute?


The reason we're here
is to talk this through

Your uncle is working to find a solution...

and you're just fooling around?

Dragontail, it seems there's no way
to resolve this?

Brother Dao, you can see his attitude

So there's no more to say

Brother Dao

I wouldn't be here if you hadn't asked me

Apparently I've wasted my time

My dear, come downstairs

Your friend will be here soon

I brought you a gift

You once said that your favorite dish...

is meat hotpot with pickled cabbage

Right, meat and pickled cabbage

My ma says she knows you like this hotpot

She's treasured it for years

It's pure copper

Whenever you use it...

it'll remind you of me

It's a fine thing, looks good

Ah Chuan...

What do you think?

One more dish is coming

I'm back!

- Xiao Meng is back - Why is she so noisy?

So much fuss about getting home!

What's wrong with her?

Ah Chuan...

Tell your ma to join us

I don't want to

Go on!

She's been returning the iPad to my dad

Just tell her to come down

It's Grandpa's birthday


Tell her to come down for dinner

Come down and eat!

It's your father's birthday!

Don't keep him waiting! She's so rude

My birthday?

That's right

See? Birthday noodles

I even brought you a cake

You've come, Cheng'en!

Xiao Meng

Ah Chuan, where's Yuchang?

He's at school

He called to say he'd be late

Unlike you

Daughter, this is delicious


Have some birthday noodles

May life and luck be long

I brought you a cake too


We don't need the hotpot right now

- So I'll...
- I'll move it out of the way

- That's better - I suppose so

If it's not in the way

All of you, eat up


The way she treats dad has changed so much

They weren't that close before

Still, you are a family

I've always thought of
your ma as a kind person

We're all kind people

That's right

Ah Chuan is the best

Always looking out for his grandpa

You used to argue with Gran all the time

I had to be your go-between

Back then you looked out for me

Now I look out for you

Ah Chuan is great

Have a chicken thigh

I couldn't find any photo of you back
in our army days

Never mind, it's all in the past

Brother Xiong...

I came back this time to take care of my ma

She's not well

She needs me

This was Uncle Guan's place

They've all moved out

I'm always wondering...

Does she need me?

Or am I the one who needs her?

This was my commander's place

We once ate here

Brother Xiong...

Happy birthday!

Don't cry

It's too long since I watched you perform

When you go there tomorrow...

Xiao Meng will be with you

She'll take care of you


Get back earlier

The best would be...

if you get back in time for dinner

Get back early

I'll cook and lay the table

We'll eat together

Take care on the trip

I'll remind your daughter...

to keep a good eye out for you

Ah Chuan, here

Grandma asks you...

to look after your grandpa

I will

Repeat after me...

Look after Grandpa

Good boy

Ah Chuan is the best!


- This way?
- That's right

I haven't been home for
ages, the place is a mess

I remember this place



Xiao Meng, my ma's awake

Why don't you just sit for a moment?


My son...

Why do you do this to yourself?

I am Cheng'en!

Keep still

I don't know... What's your name?

I don't know...


Help me!

Stop it!

Stay still

Look at you, your face!

Why are there feces everywhere?

Stop it, don't touch me!

I'm very clean

It's even on your face!

Who's hidden my Cheng'en?

Don't touch my head!

My sacred head...

I want Cheng'en, my head is fine

I want to go home

Stay still

My son gave me this

I want my Cheng'en

Why are you so unkind to me?

Cheng'en is here

My son is very nice, very kind

Very gentle


Cheng'en is right here, stop shouting


I want my son

- Your son is right here - I don't want you

You're not...

I want to get up and go home

Mama's hungry

I should get up and cook food

- Don't touch it - I want to pee

Let's change your diaper first

Doctor says I'm pregnant

What the hell?

Stop it, what are you doing?

Ask Cheng'en to come


Stop crying

Cheng'en is here

You're not...

I don't want you here

Stop this nonsense, you're not Cheng'en

- Cheng'en!
- Cheng'en is right here


- Cheng'en!
- Stop shouting

Nobody wants to hurt you

I don't want it any more

What are you doing?

I need to wear it properly

That won't do, I'm a lady

Okay, the lady needs to wear her pants

- Stop it - The lady
needs to wear her pants!

Don't bully me, stop that!

Would you like to see my ma for a moment?


Ma, your friends are here to see you



Aren't you the one who hid my Cheng'en?


Ma, he's hiding in plain sight

Cheng'en is here

Weren't you in the same troupe as my dad?

When did you two...

meet for the first time?

Back then

My ma and your dad were
often together on stage

Lots of people saw them as an ideal couple

Back then, my ma was...

very beautiful

Really very beautiful

Lots of men were chasing her

But she only had eyes for your dad

When he saw me perform on stage, though...

he came backstage...

to tell me he liked me

After that, we were together

And I became his aide-de-camp

Helped him, took care of him

But finally he chose
family life and all of you

My ma left the opera troupe

I felt very down

So she arranged for me to get away

to perform in Beijing

Find the music for "The Battle of Mt.
Ding jun"

- He hasn't sent it yet - I still need it

- Have you told him?
- Okay

Mt. Ding jun...

Another thing...

Ask Ziqiang to be the Props Master

Okay, ask Ziqiang

Let's get there early
tomorrow to check the music

Sure thing

- I'll call ahead - You go ahead

I need to be back first
thing in the morning

I have to watch the turkey egg


Ah Chuan... over here

Call your Grandma

Do it yourself

Do it as a favor to Grandpa

Is that Ah Chuan?

Do you know what time it is?

Put your ma on the phone

Why aren't you back yet?

What are you doing there?
Are you coming back?


Stay there if you want to

On the first drumbeat, prepare food and eat

On the second drumbeat, don your armor

On the third drumbeat, draw your sword

On the fourth drumbeat, march into battle

Charge with valor and reap the reward

Desert your place and reap the punishment

The three armies and their commander,
return to camp!

It's fine as it is

I'll tighten it a little

Is that too tight?

Gran! I'm home!

You came back by yourself?

Yes, I took the train

Why did they let you take the train alone?


I'm really hungry

I didn't get any breakfast

No-one made breakfast for you?

Turkey egg, how are you doing?

I have to go grocery
shopping, I can't do it now

Wait for me!

- Ah Chuan...
- Yes?

I have a question for you

What is it?

I need to ask you...

Answer me honestly, no lies!

When you were away last night...

Who did you sleep with?


And Grandpa? Who did he sleep with?


He slept with Uncle Cheng'en

With Uncle Cheng'en?



What's wrong?

Wait for me, Gran



I slaved away for thirty years...
for nothing!

Isn't he just an old veteran?

Earning next to nothing?

I made sure all the men of the house...

got chicken thigh to eat

I'm stuck alone at home...

making do with an egg!

But never mind!

I didn't care! I was
willing to put up with it!

The kids would come home and ask...

why I had nothing but an egg to eat

I told them it didn't matter

My husband was the one who mattered

Their father was the one who mattered

Zhang Junxiong, you have no conscience!

Absolutely no conscience!

You think you're so great

if your mother hadn't begged me...

to give you a son...

why would I have
tormented myself like that?

And your daughter is just like you!

She doesn't care about me

Doesn't even look at me!

Won't sleep with his wife,
but does sleep with a man!

He's the only one he cares about

Like father, like daughter...
they both ran off with other men

What's the point of it all?

I've wasted thirty years of my life!

For what?

Ah Feng, what happened to you?

What's wrong?

What happened to you?

Is there something wrong with me?

Did someone say something?

Everyone is staring at you, don't you see?

No, they're all quiet,
no-one is saying anything

What have I done? Nothing!

See for yourself

They all know me, they
know I'm the Colonel's wife

Stop tugging at me!

I can't bear to see you like this

- Okay?
- What do you mean by saying that?

I'm perfectly fine

I sacrificed my own happiness willingly

I put up with it all

I married him, I gave birth to the son

Women always carry the burden, men don't

Just stop it, will you?

You'll break the trolley

Then I'll buy a new one

Just go home

I'm here to buy groceries,
why tell me to go home?

Don't look at me like that

What are you staring at?
You think I'm crazy?

I'm not crazy

These people all know me, I'm not crazy

Don't be ridiculous

Why would I be crazy?

If you're not crazy, then tell me...

I work myself to death,
like a beast of burden...

I take care of the old and the young...

I do so well looking after them all...

that nobody cares a jot for me!
What was it all for?

They toss me aside, abandon me!

What's so great about sleeping with a man?
I don't get it

Am I so repulsive?

Even if I'm repulsive,
he lasted thirty years with me

Don't keep saying that

Is it embarrassing?

stop behaving like that

You're acting as if I'm a madwoman

Ah Chuan...

I'm going home to cook

Quick, you go home first

I'll bring your grandma

I'll get her home

She's not herself today

Ah Feng! Where are you going?

Baby chicken... Come on out!

You're actually a baby turkey...

But that's close enough to a chicken

Get a move on!

I'm home

What's wrong?

Ah Chuan...

What's the matter with your Gran?

Gran's gone mad

What happened?

Here you are

I can take pictures with this?

I have another question

There were lots of tadpoles here before

So why are there so few now?

Growing up means leaving home

When its legs are grown,
it can leave by itself

It turns into a frog and hops away

Oh, right...

This is how it opens

Grandpa... There's no film in it!

You don't need any

How do you mean? This is useless

How can it take pictures without film?

What you see through the viewfinder...

will stay in your mind

You'll remember it

Then I might as well just look

I'll remember that way too

You like tomatoes?

You like 'em?

I'm telling you

All my life, my favorite thing has been...


So you gotta like them too

You know why?

Because you're my son

Aside from tomatoes, what else do you like?

- Lots of things - Lots of things?

Such as?

I dunno... there are too many

Is it your car?

Of course it is! Who else's?

You like cars?


Things haven't gone so well for me lately

But I have a dream

I'll build a big tomato farm

Make a fortune!

Then I'll buy a great car

And take you on trips around the world!

That's your old man's dream

I can't go. I've still got holiday homework

I have to hatch my egg

Hatch your egg? That's your homework?

Yes, it might die, and not hatch

That's so cool!

I'm great at hatching eggs

I hatched so many chickens when I was a kid

Don't worry

Just keep the temperature steady,
then it'll be fine

But my egg is a turkey, not just a chicken

They're more or less the same

No big difference

Must be, right?

It'll be fine, just the same as a chicken

Satisfaction guaranteed?
Who's this "Ah Wen"?

It's that guy?

That little...

Should I call Rat to let him know about it?


Haven't we already got this sorted?

Why's he still doing it?


It's the same Ah Wen?

Let me tell you... that issue about turf

The trouble you caused...

If you want to claim
some turf for yourself...

ask around about it first

And check with us

Fill it up!


- Are you retarded?
- What's this asshole doing here?

Did you say "asshole"?

- Who's an asshole?
- Cool it, we're on the same side

Why are you picking a fight with him?

He's a fucking asshole

Doesn't deserve a place at the table

I asked, who are you calling "asshole"?

I put up a few signs...

He goes to his boss...

And then he goes to
Brother Dao to rat on me

Doesn't that make him an asshole?

Stop this bullshit, both of you!

- Let's talk this through
- Say it again and see what happens!

He's a real asshole

- Leave it, Xiao Luo...
- Think about it!

We're doing this for your ma's sake

Not for you!

You're just a joke

Step outside and have a smoke

I'll talk to him

Aren't you a real piece of shit?

Enough, just step outside

Mummy's boy!

Ah Wen, did you hear me?

Before you do it again,
come to us to discuss it

Don't behave this way,
you're not a one-man-band

Brother Wen, come on...

Xiao Luo has always been good to us

- And he has a point - What's with you?

You're on his side?

No, that's not it

Sugarcane is saying it for your own good

- Why are you stirring this up?
- Just say that again!

- Go on!
- Calm down

Xiao Luo, he's generally been good to us...

- You motherfucker!
- Brother Wen...

Ah Wen, what's got into you?

Brother Wen...

Brother Wen!

What are you doing?

How does that feel?

- Cold - Still cold?

Turning it off...

Okay, I'm turning it off

Is this warmer?

I use my cymbals to drum up customers...

as I range from Quanzhou to Chaozhou,
polishing mirrors

Since the daughter
of the Huang family is a beauty...

I'm set on paying that household a visit

Better? Is it warm?

It should be okay

I've checked the temperature

This should be just right

Lift your arm

The reception here is terrible

When are you going to...

I miss my son

Otherwise I wouldn't call you

Is that all?

Give it to him yourself

Ma... Ah Wen is here

Why has he come?

I'm here to see my son

Ah Chuan...

Sorry for the intrusion

- Ah Chuan - Your dad's here to see you

Ah Chuan...

I brought you a gift

He's come from Taipei to see you

We're very busy

Excuse me, please leave

This space is too small

Ma... can't the man have a quick word
with his son?

You came here just to argue with me?

We're cramped and busy here

Please wait outside

- He just got in here...
- I just want to give him his gift

Allow me just a second

Ah Chuan...

I brought this for you... will you take it?

Come on...

- Ah Chuan...
- Just take it

- Okay, now please go - Ah Chuan...

Just go

Show them out, will you?

Plenty of chairs out there

You can just sit there

The show will start soon

We're already too cramped

If you take up more space...

we can't get ready.
We'll be starting soon

Just leave


I don't need to

He wouldn't have been born otherwise

Take a photo of me

- What's wrong with you?
- What's wrong?

Would it hurt to let Ah
Chuan talk to his dad?

Nothing to do with me!
Just give us our space

Ah Chuan... come

Don't wander off

It could be dangerous

Keep your friend company

Why does your ma always
shoot her mouth off?

Because of you!

I am General Cheng Yaojin

Reinforcements General Xue Dingshan

We march our troops to the Hantan Gate

He is young and brave, but lacks experience

I, General Cheng, will give him counsel

Motherfucker! You want to be boss?
I'll see about that!


She has to eat even if she doesn't want to

How else can she survive?

She just won't come downstairs

Come down to eat

You gotta eat

I have a question

That day...

When you took a picture
of me with my dad...

It doesn't exist, right?

What the hell is wrong with you?

Do you even know what you're doing?

Do you have any idea how long I've
been looking for you?

I really don't know what you're thinking

You had it all

A family, a house, children...

Then you threw it all away and vanished!

It's because I had it all...

that I longed for freedom

Didn't we see that Truffaut movie together?

'The 400 Blows'? That's
the kind of freedom I want


What right do you have
to talk about freedom?

How old are you?

How can you be so irresponsible?

Shouldn't you put your family first?

Freedom my ass! I see what it is

You watched too many
movies, wrecked your brain!

Just look at you, you look so ridiculous

Going around with that chicken

Behaving like a beggar

Don't care where you go, where you sleep

You don't want 'face', but I do

Do you ever think about
me and the children?

You know how tough it's been for us?

All the gossip? Have you
ever thought about that?

Have you gone mad?

If you keep shouting like that...

people may think
you're the one who's mad

Each of us has their own life

Can't we just respect each other?

You're still young and pretty

Why bother being with
someone as lousy as me?

For the sake of your own future, I think...

we should settle for
respecting each other

So go on your way

Where are you going?

Won't you come home with me?

Let's go home together

I've been looking for you for so long

Don't go, come back with me

Come home with me

Listen to me!

If you go now...

don't bother ever coming back

I'll tell your son he has no father!

And I'll have no husband!

You go, and don't ever come back!

Mr Turkey...

Don't ever come back!

Mr Turkey...

Wait for me

- Okay - On board?

I'll help you

You want all this stuff
spread in the sunlight?

You got lots of things here

There's even a book about selling tofu

Are you going to sell tofu?

Back there, that lady...

Is she related to you?

All that cursing you, in such a loud voice

Ah Chuan, you see that wooden horse?

It wasn't always there

It was floating in the
sea before, just drifting

Then I guess...

Someone brought it ashore

But no-one asked questions and no-one cares

Does it really matter where it came from?


Liar, it's not hatching!

It did move a bit

- I didn't see - Excuse me...

- Anybody home?
- It's not moving at all!

Ah Chuan! Yuchang!

Come downstairs!

Isn't this where you live?


Your dad wants to run off

Watch out

He won't come inside

My dear...

Come home... where have you been?

The officer has brought you back

This is not my home!

- This is your home - Not my home!

Not my home!

Calm down...

Your clothes are all wet

- Dad...
- Look, look...

This is your house, isn't it?

Quick! Stand in front of your grandpa

- Dad...
- See who it is?

Recognize him?

It's Ah Chuan!

Ah Chuan! Greet him


This is not my home!

It is your home, and this is your grandson

This is your son

And I'm your wife

- Yes...
- This is not my home!

Please make sure this doesn't happen again


I am..

I am Zhang...

Zhang Jun...

Damn, I forget

I wasn't dancing

The troupe was...

just rehearsing

I've been...

supervising the rehearsal
in the assembly hall

Yes, Sir!

There'll be no problems
when the commander arrives




I wasn't dancing

I really didn't go dancing

I promised you

I promised you I wouldn't dance

I really didn't dance

I'm going to bed now

Don't hit me!

Don't hit me!

Don't hit...

Don't hit yourself!

That same letter again?

Time to read it again?

Fine, read it slowly

From your mother

My son Junxiong...

When this letter reaches you...

I will be at rest with your father

Throughout my life...

I have always strived to be prepared

As they say...

Life is unpredictable

Now that my life is drawing to a close...

I cannot be sure how
much longer I will last

I might not even be able to speak

Or able to move a finger

In that case, I wouldn't be able...

to pass on my last thoughts

You are my son

I've pondered this many times...

and now I'm writing
this testament for you

Your mother loves you

You were always an obedient child

I know you love to dance

But I worry that it
wouldn't earn you a living

You did as your mother wanted...

and I was most grateful

Your wife Wang Feng...

Wang Feng is Gran's name?


She's a good-hearted country girl

I know that you don't like her

But you met my wishes by marrying her

I know she will give you lifelong care

She's a fine woman

I hope you can be a couple
like me and your father

A loving couple, admired by all

I have little to bequeath to you

Your wife is a frugal
woman, a careful housekeeper

She has sacrificed herself for this family

Always treat her well

Give both children a good education

So that when they grow to adulthood...

they will be useful to society

Then their grandparents in the afterlife...

can joyfully accept your offerings

And be satisfied in the next world

That's the most important thing I wanted
to tell you

My hope is that my son
has a comfortable path in life

Your mother, Huiting

It really is!

The shell cracked!

- Are you sure you didn't crack it?
- I didn't

- I didn't even touch it
- It cracked by itself?

Is it going to hatch?

I think so


And when it does...

I won't fail my project like you did!

- Give me a break!
- Why is it cracking?

Did you crack it?

You've been here all along

Did I even touch it?

Ah Chuan!

It's moving

- It's still alive - What's that?

- It's feathery!
- Somethings coming out!

Wow, the chick is out

It's actually hatched!

- I won't fail my project - It's so ugly

- An ugly duckling - It looks weird

Why are its feet so big?

Because it's a turkey?

Baby Turkey...

Hope you soon grow up too

I'll take you all around the world

Time goes by so fast

Grandpa started to...

wear diapers


remembers less about us now


She's stopped talking...

about dad

Make sure I look good in the picture

You're not in it!


This hotpot is meant for
pickled cabbage, isn't it?

But you're using it to cook...

Err, is it dried spoon cabbage?

- Yes - Can you eat this?

- Of course you can!
- The spoon cabbage...

was sun-dried by Grandma and me

But it's all black! It looks horrible

Just try it

This is what you were drying on the roof?

- The spoon cabbage?
- Yes

My dear...

We're not having...

pickled cabbage hotpot today

This is home-made sun-dried spoon cabbage

It's not bad at all


Try it and see


Are we really going to move?


Look what state your father is in

He can't remember a thing now

If he's willing to move, we'll move

I've asked the head of our troupe...

to find us a place

Somewhere we can stay for a while


- Ah Chuan...
- What about my turkey?

Your turkey?

Bring it in its box, silly boy...


What about the tadpoles on the roof?

The tadpoles...

They'll become frogs

They can hop and find
their own way to join us


Ma, you should let Dad help himself

He can manage

Pm just giving him a hand

Add some sauce

This meat goes well with it

- Improves the taste - Ah Chuan...

You don't need to worry...
about your turkey

Worry about the tadpoles

When they turn into frogs...

your turkey will eat them all!

I'm not lying to you, it really will

You'll have to train the turkey...

to live on rice, so
that it won't eat them

- Or we can just keep them apart - I'm full


- Are you done?
- I'm full

- Already?
- Let him go

Then your turkey...

and the frogs...

You can separate them apart

Ah Chuan, will you finish the cabbage?

I just had some

Where did we get this hotpot from?

Who's that now?


This hotpot...

came from Uncle Cheng'en, didn't it?
- I know



Add the last ingredients from the table

- Careful, it's hot, don't toy with it
- Okay

Behave yourself at the table


That was...
Cheng'en on the phone, calling to say...

his mother just passed away

Ma, there's not enough cabbage

It won't be enough

You can finish what's there

We have more in the
kitchen, don't be impatient

- We have more?
- Yes


Dad is taking pictures

Grandpa, take one of me!

- Just me!
- Just you?

- Yes - Go on, strike a pose!

Very handsome!

A very handsome boy!

Watch your step...

Be careful

Have you had enough to eat, Dad?

Let him take pictures



Put the cabbage in the hotpot


- The cabbage is the key thing - Ma...

I don't think...

there's enough cabbage

Yuchang, pass the soy sauce

We've finished the cabbage

But we haven't touched the rice yet

I have!

We just put some in...

We finally did move out

Teacher said

My homework project was really good

The turkey is three month old

It's now...

my best friend