Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?) (2001)



Critic Consensus: Though it requires patience to view, What Time Is It There?'s exploration of loneliness is both elegant and haunting.

Movie Info

Master Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang directs this look at three people looking for human connection. Hsiao-kang (Tsai regular Lee Kang-sheng) is a young man who sells watches from a briefcase in front of Taipei's train station. When his father (Mio Tien) suddenly dies at the beginning of the film, it sends Hsiao-kang and his mother, Lu, on two radically different trajectories. His grieving mother becomes obsessed with the return of her dead husband's spirit. Hsiao-kang starts to urinate … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By: Ming-liang Tsai, Pi-Ying Yang
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 20, 2002
Winstar Cinemas



as Hsiao-kang

as Shiang-chyi

as Father

as Woman in Paris

as Man in Subway Statio...

as Prostitute

as Man at Phone Booth

as Man at Restaurant

as Himself/Man at the C...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?)

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (20)

While its careful pace and seemingly opaque story may not satisfy every moviegoer's appetite, the film's final scene is soaringly, transparently moving.

March 28, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Tsai's confidence in the deep power of silence drives home the film's inner convictions. Its surface works coolly, intriguingly and, happily, feebly in opposition to the heart of the matter.

March 22, 2002
Detroit News
Top Critic

At times, Tsai's approach makes viewing this film like watching paint dry, but what a sublime design it makes.

Full Review… | March 21, 2002
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Alternates between deadpan comedy and heartbreaking loneliness and isn't afraid to provoke introspection in both its characters and its audience.

Full Review… | March 21, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Mr. Tsai is a very original artist in his medium, and What Time Is It There? should be seen at the very least for its spasms of absurdist humor.

Full Review… | March 13, 2002
New York Observer
Top Critic

What Time Is It There? is not easy. It haunts you, you can't forget it, you admire its conception and are able to resolve some of the confusions you had while watching it.

Full Review… | March 1, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ni na bian ji dian (What Time Is It Over There?)


A girl is going to Paris. A watch seller. A cake as a gift. Two people connected by loneliness. Subtle humor, sadness, minimal dialogues, slow movie.

This absolutely great film also brings an homage to Truffaut and a small part of Jean-Pierre Léaud. You don´t need to know The 400 blows, but if you do, you will definitely have another view of "What Time Is It There?".

Rubia Carolina

Super Reviewer

I slow film about loss, emptiness, loneliness and the need to fill this up, to be somewhat in control and not being able to. Very delicate.

Saskia D.

Super Reviewer


An encounter, a goodbye, infinite loneliness of life, and a miracle that conquers them all... Beautiful, beautiful film all about a very subtle but common feeling to us all.

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