In the Heat of the Sun 阳光灿烂的日子


Chinese Name:阳光灿烂的日子

English Name:In the Heat of the Sun

Other Names: Days of the Bright and Lush Sunshine(literally)

Director: Jiang Wen姜文

Screenwriter: Jiang Wen姜文

Starring: Ning Jing宁静Xia Yu夏雨,Geng Le耿乐,Tao Hong陶虹

Release Year:1994

Running time : 134min

In the Heat of the Sun 阳光灿烂的日子
In the Heat of the Sun阳光灿烂的日子里

Brief Introduction of In the Heat of the Sun

In the Heat of the Sun is a film produced in 1993 and released in 1995. It is the first film directed by Jiang Wen(also directed Let the Bullets Fly) and adapted from Wang Shuo’s novel Animal Ferocity. The main actors are Xia Yu, Jing Jing, Tao Hong, Geng le and so on.

The background of the film is Beijing during the cultural revolution. A group of children living in the military compound spends their youth in the dazzling sunshine with red flags everywhere. In the stories of stream of consciousness, there are love and sexual impulses, naive and failed revolutionary spirit, and growth stories.

Plot of In the Heat of the Sun

In the Heat of the Sun tells such a story: in Beijing in the early 1970s, adults were busy “making revolution”, schools were closed, and a group of boys aged 15 or 16 in an army compound indulged in fighting and making trouble all day. Ma Xiaojun was one of them. He has a hobby of using the master key to steal other people’s locks. He often sneaks into other people’s homes when most of the homes are empty during the day, has great fun, and complacently tells others that there is no lock he can’t open, and he has never been found.

In the Heat of the Sun 阳光灿烂的日子
In the Heat of the Sun-Still

One day, Ma Xiaojun went into another family and saw a picture of a girl’s swimsuit. He was immediately attracted by the unknown girl with a bright smile and youthful vitality. Through Liu Yiku, the “leader” of the children in the hospital, Ma Xiaojun met the girl Milan he saw in the picture. Milan, which was even more beautiful than the picture, immediately became Ma Xiaojun’s dream lover, but Milan didn’t take him as a peer at all but liked Liu Yiku.

Ma Xiaojun was so angry that he had a hard fight with Liu Yi. Ma Xiaojun’s father was very angry with him for playing with others all day. He scolded Xiao Jun for not studying hard and beat him severely, but his parents didn’t have time to take care of them seriously, and the children continued to play together. In this way, in that special period, children grew up in chaos.

In the Heat of the Sun 阳光灿烂的日子
Ning Jing in In the Heat of the Sun

Accolades of In the Heat of the Sun

The film won the 51st Venice Film Festival’s Best Actor Award for its young lead actor Xia Yu (Xia was then the youngest recipient of the Best Actor award at Venice) as well as the 33rd Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing. American director Quentin Tarantino also gave high praises to the film, calling it “really great.”

It was the first People’s Republic of China film to win Best Feature Film in the Golden Horse Awards; the very year where Chinese-language films from the mainland were first allowed to participate.

Film Review of In the Heat of the Sun

Salute to Jiang Wen and Wang Shuo. What’s great of this movie is that it exhibits to us so vividly the growth experience of one generation in a somewhat wild and beautiful way.


This film is a portrait of memory and childhood,thru the viewpoint of a boy growing up in the Cultural Revolution.

Rotten Tomatoes

In the Heat of the Sun by Chinese director Jiang Wen can be regarded as one of the most amazing films in the world in 1994. It is a new Chinese film from content to form. Its emergence marks that Chinese film has entered a new era.


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