THE KIDS, directed by first time director Sunny Yu, may seem like a cautionary tale of young love run awry. Stories of teenage pregnancies and ill-prepared young parents is nothing new in the west, but in Taiwan, where the value system is much more black and white, this taboo is completely ignored.
Bao-Li has just started 8th grade when he comes to the rescue of Jia-Jia, an older girl he immediately falls in love with, and soon enough they are in a relationship. When Jia-Jia becomes pregnant with their daughter, Bao-Li drops out of school to support his new family and become the breadwinner, sometimes by any means necessary. But when he discovers that his mother has gambled away all of their savings, this sparks great strife, leading towards a path of self destruction for this young, makeshift family. Will they be able to survive the trials of youth, as well as being societal outcasts?
Director Yu, a prolific assistant director in Taiwan’s developed film industry, was inspired by an interaction with a friend of a friend from high school. His story of being a teen father who would do criminal acts for the sake of putting food on the table for his young child, brought her to explore this rarely told side of Taiwan’s youth. After all, they’re only kids.
— Anderson Le
This film is nominated for the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award for Best Narrative. Director Sunny Yu will be in attendance for the first screening of the film.