You yi tian   2010   Taiwan One Day
One Day Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Hou Chi-jan
Studio:Strawberry Time Films
Writer:Hou Chi-jan, Kelly Yuan-Ling Yang
IMDb Rating:6.8 (151 votes)
Genre:Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Duration:93 min
Hou Chi-jan  ...  (Director)
Hou Chi-jan, Kelly Yuan-Ling Yang  ...  (Writer)
Bryan Shu-Hao Chang  ...  Tsung
Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh  ...  Singing
Gwen Yao  ...  Mum
Cheng-Ye Han  ...  Composer
Hsin-Hua Feng  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: This is a strange one, in a good way, for the most part. It's a lovely and meditative story of blossoming and innocent young love that jumps back and forth in time and in and out of dreams. It gets a little weird, then a little confusing, and then almost shoots itself in the foot by hinting at some plot to get in the way of the story. I'm not sure that it happened but it seems to have, and it appears to relate to the melodramatic question a young woman asks her mother: "If you could go back to the past and meet dad again, would you still marry him ... but you know that he would have an accident later?"

Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh, looking a lot like Zhou Xun from certain angles, plays the young woman with the beautiful name, Singing. She works on a ferry that shuttles recruits between the port of Kaohsiung and the military base of Kinmen Island. One night during the trip all the lights go out on the ferry and Singing appears to be alone. Then an Indian man with an axe, screaming without subtitles, chases her. She's rescued by a young soldier and the loopy dream logic begins. The soldier tells her that they are not in the real world. A horse walks by. Singing's hair is shorter and she's in a study hall in Taipei sitting next to the soldier only now he's a student. They fall in love but keep waking up together, or falling asleep and dreaming together, on the ferry. The future, the past, what's a dream and what's reality blur to the point that it doesn't matter. Until that little plot point rears it's head. There's a little crying and some running, two things that suggest melodrama, but this is a mood piece much more than a drama. The dreamlike quality is emphasized by the fact that almost all the scenes take place on or near the water. The cinematography is often muted and the soundtrack mostly noodling piano.

I think it's a mistake to try and discover meaning in a film like this, as the director or as a viewer, even though it's filled with innumerable possible symbolisms. This is not a commercial love story. It's far too down tempo and poetic. But it is a love story and these kinds of films require a nice couple for us to love, and the two leads provide that here, with extra credit given to the ever watchable Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh in her film debut.

The beautiful theme song that plays as the end credits roll is sung by Tarcy Su, a singer and actress I just discovered in the remarkable film Blue Cha Cha.


Summary: Produced by master filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien, 2010 Taiwan film One Day marks the feature debut for talented director Hou Chi Jan. It's about the dreamlike relationship between a ferry clerk and a young soldier who claims to be her future lover.

Search: AmazonMRQERoviAsianmediawikiHanCinemaWikipediaMetacritic