黑暗之光-Darkness and Light
Keelung is an old port on the north coast of Taiwan, a town not much marked by the economic boom of the 1980s but hit quite hard by the recession of the late 1990s. Kang-Yi, a bright 17-year-old, comes home for her summer vacation from her college in the capital, Taipei. Her father Ah Xiu, who lost both his wife and his sight in a car crash several years ago, tries to make ends meet by running a small massage parlour in his home; he has a staff of three, all of them blind or partially sighted. Ah Xiu and his new wife Bao-Hui (also blind) do their best to support Kang-Yi’s schooling and to bring up her younger brother Ah Kee, who is somewhat retarded
The 18-year-old Ah Ping has just arrived in Keelung. His Mainland-born father has returned to China and entrusted the boy to the care of Song, a friend from his days in the army. Ah Ping has been expelled for misbehaviour from a military academy in Hualien. On arrival in Keelung, he finds that his mentor Song is the ‘Big Brother’ of a local triad gang. ‘Big Brother’ Song is also an old friend and regular customer of Ah Xiu’s. In fact, he gave Ah Xiu the money to set up the massage parlour.
Ah Ping runs into Kang-Yi as soon as he arrives in Keelung when he happens to ask her for directions to Song’s apartment. He sees her again when he’s being shown around by Song’s man Chen Ming, a chronic drunk. Kang-Yi develops an immediate crush on the boy and soon finds an excuse to stay out all night with him, showing him the night market and other favourite places and taking him on a dawn boat-ride around the harbour.
But this relationship infuriates Kang-Yi’s former classmate Ah Lim, who considers himself her boyfriend. And Ah Lim happens to be the son of Big Sister, the boss of a rival triad gang. Next thing, junior members of the two gangs are picking fights with each other in public. Their leaders meet and try to negotiate peace under the auspices of Xiao Gu, the corrupt captain of police. Xiao Gu, however, has taken an instant dislike to Ah Ping, and he’s happy to leave the gangs to slug it out…
Ah Xiu, whose health has long been precarious, asks Kang-Yi to escort him on a trip to old haunts in Taipei. Soon after, he subsides into a coma and is rushed to hospital. A few days later, he comes home to die. Meanwhile Ah Ping is killed in a violent brawl between the rival gangs. Kang-Yi loses in rapid succession the two men she cares most about. On the night of a fireworks display over the harbour, she imagines a family reunion with her father and Ah Ping …