Valerie Orbach’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's truly a shame that A Brighter Summer isn't better known because it's truly one of the greatest landmarks in modern cinema. It's about a lot of things at once, but Yang beautifully balances everything out. It's as intimate as a love story, but at the same time also as expansive as a historical film. Set in 1960s Taipei, the film is said to be based on a real incident that the director remembers from his school days when he was 13. It's a violent incident, which the film places in the context of the political environment in Taiwan at that time.
A Brighter Summer Day is nearly four hours long but it doesn't take it's lengthy running time for granted. Every scene and moment feels necessary and important to the overall story. And while it features nearly a hundred speaking parts, we really get to know each and every single character, no matter how minor. It's a beautifully crafted film, and not challenging at all. I won't forget the experience of watching this till the day I live.
"It is easy to restore a film’s image, but much harder to revive that feeling of seeing a classic for the first time. Eighteen years ago, Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day was released, heralding a new talent in world cinema. Each year since has further confirmed its status as a classic, but at the cost of increased wear and tear on the prints. Restoration is usually reserved for relics from decades ago. But sometimes we need to dust off recent memories to remind us how brightly the not too distant past shined. Thanks to the latest digital technology, we can seize these celluloid moments even as they begin to slip irrevocably from our grasp. In June of 2007, when he was only 59 years old, we lost Edward Yang forever. I’m very happy that A Brighter Summer Day has been restored so a new generation of filmgoers can feel the excitement of seeing it for the first time." —Wong Kar-Wai, May 2009