Friday, December 1, 2017 - 17:30 to Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 21:00
Indigenous cultures form the foundation of contemporary multicultural Taiwan. Consequently, indigenous representation in its cinema has been plentiful, yet often controversial. These films range from troubling stereotypes of Taiwan’s native peoples in the 1960s to popular contemporary films by indigenous directors. This diverse programme will feature documentaries and feature films that engage with cultural, social, ecological, and political issues pertinent to Taiwan’s past and present.
All screenings are FREE and open to the public, but bookings are essential. All films have English subtitles.
Produced by the world-famous Shaw Brothers Studio of Hong Kong, this film is one of the earliest film representations of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. Filmed on this idyllic island southeast of Taiwan, Song of Orchid Island employs common stereotypes to deliver a romantic story of a ‘civilized’ doctor’s encounter with a ‘native’ island girl, played by the popular Chinese actress Cheng Pei-pei 鄭佩佩.
Dislocation and despair, return and recovery, this film documents one Yami (Tao) man’s journey from Orchid Island to Taipei and back again, escaping addiction through the healing powers of community and the ocean.
Best Short Documentary, Golden Harvest Awards (2000)
Screened at Taiwan International Ethnographic Festival (2015)
Hawaii International Film Festival (2000)
Vancouver International Film Festival (2000)
Filmed by activist documentary makers from Tokyo, this recently rediscovered underground film takes us from Taiwanese migrant workers in American-occupied Okinawa to a small Atayal village in the mountains of eastern Taiwan.
Screened at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (2005)
Directed by NDU (Nihon Documentary Union)
Discover the challenges and joys of life from the perspective of three charismatic boys living in a Sqoyaw village in Taichung. This engaging and affirming story is the latest film focused on indigenous life to enjoy a wide release and popular reception in Taiwan.
Continuing from the first film, shown on Friday night, the conflict between the Seediq and the Japanese forces escalates with brutal consequences.
Everyday life on Orchid Island is revealed in this important film by one of Taiwan’s most eminent ethnographic film makers. Hu Tai-li examines the social and ecological problems that the Yami (Tao) people face, especially the government’s controversial and continued use of the island as a nuclear waste dump.
Based on a story by Syaman Rapongan夏曼‧藍波安, a noted writer of Orchid Island’s Yami (Tao) tribe, this gentle short film looks at the complexities of young love in the martial law period (1947-97) while evoking deep economic and spiritual connections with the ocean.
Special Screening at Golden Harvest Awards (2015)
2015, 25m, PG
Directed by Cheng Yu-Chieh鄭有傑
Starring musician Chang Chen-yue張震嶽/Ayal Komod海雅谷慕, this is one of the few films of Taiwan’s famed New Cinema movement to consider indigenous Taiwan. Director Wan Jen hauntingly explores intersections of the afterlife and daily struggle in a gritty and lonely fin de siècle Taipei.
Best Music, Asia Pacific Film Festival (1998)
1998, 1h53m, PG
Directed by Wan Jen 萬仁
Children in Heaven documents the aboriginal community living under the Sanying Bridge in New Taipei City. Every year the community is destroyed because the authorities deem that the settlement has breached the Water Resources Act. After each demolition, even the ruined building materials are completely removed from the site.
Twelve years ago, Meihua and her family of seven including her parents lived as squatters under the Sanying Bridge in New Taipei City. The place was subsequently demolished. They managed to rebuild their home, but it was pulled down again following the birth of Meihua's son in 2009.