Actor Jiang Wen's first feature is a archetypal rites-of-passage film about a group of boys entering puberty one hot summer in Beijing: fooling around, showing off and bonding, spying on girls, clashing with other gangs, dealing with pesky erections. Two things distinguish it. One is Jiang's own wry voice-over, admitting that these are romanticised and sometimes wished-for episodes from his own childhood. The other is the mid-1970s setting, the dog days of the Cultural Revolution, after all the Maoist frenzy, which it shows as no movie has ever done before.
In the Heat of the Sun
Cast and crew