I Didn’t Dare to Tell You

Taiwan|1969|B&W|78 min (Incomplete)|DCP|Mandarin|Chi & Eng subtitles
Scanned from the sole surviving 35mm print, of which one reel went missing
30.05.2020 (Sat) 11:55 BC

Dir: Mou Tun-Fei
Scr: Huang Gui-Rong
Cinematographer: Liao Chi-Yao
Cast: Yu Jian-Sheng, Chen Kuo-Chun, Grace Guei

A father works hard for his son’s educational future, yet the young boy secretly works to pay for his father’s debt. This working class story about a child struggling to further his education is a wholehearted contemplation on social structure and relational exploitation, which is running counter to the kind of sterile and optimistic realism supported by the government. In this relatively dark tale, the teachers use hierarchy as well as physical force to control young people. It lacks the warmth of a melodrama but confronts violence with the simple and freeing aesthetics of realism and the New Wave. Even though the dialogue was dubbed, its voice against authority is forceful. This is a pioneering example of modern aesthetics and resistance ideology in Taiwanese Cinema. It was not widely released back then, and the unexpected twist at the end of the film was possibly a sign of the sensitive times. Yu Jian-Sheng won the Best Child Star at the 1970 Golden Horse Awards.

Mou Tun-Fei (1941-2019)
Born in Shandong, China, Mou Tun-Fei relocated to Taiwan in 1949. After graduating from the National School of Arts, he made I Didn’t Dare to Tell You and The End of the Track (1970) with funding from friends. He joined the Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd. in Hong Kong in the 1970s. His directorial efforts such as Lost Souls (1980), Men Behind the Sun (1988) and Trilogy of Lust (1995) are infamous for their use of violence, which garnered the reputation of exploitation films around the world.