“Focus on Taiwan”: Large retrospective shares issues of nationhood and identity
July 2nd, 2018
DokuFest will feature a large retrospective of Taiwanese films that will introduce Taiwan’s social and political issues to Kosovan audiences. It is the first time that an Asian country is presented at the festival with such a comprehensive retrospective.
Wood Lin, director of the Taiwan International Documentary Festival, was invited to curate the programme. “Birth of a Nation: Focus on Taiwan@DokuFest” is a show of Taiwanese filmmaking that spans a period of almost a hundred years of Taiwan history, from the Japanese colonial period to the student-led sunflower movement in 2014. It includes films by internationally acclaimed masters of the Taiwan cinema, as well as recent works by up-and-coming young directors, and covers all genres, from documentary, experimental video, to fiction. The programme’s provocative title reflects the Kosovo DokuFest’s mission to encourage discussions on national independence, sovereignty, human rights, and social movements. As questions of nationhood and international recognition are crucial issues in both countries, films on Taiwan’s recent history and political developments are expected to be of great interest for Kosovan festivalgoers.
“Birth of a Nation: Focus on Taiwan” introduces the Kosovo audiences to the landmarks of Taiwan’s social and political development by putting Taiwanese people into the limelight. The films in its first part, Portraits of a Nation, are pictures of individuals who represent social groups that have framed Taiwan’s society. The recently digitally restored Liu Pi Chia (1967) on a war veteran from mainland China is a realistic and powerful portrayal of the daily life of mainlanders who have settled in Taiwan after the war. Another part of the programme, Memory of a Nation, presents seven films that reflect on the past through the eyes of their protagonists. One of the highlights is Hou Hsiao-hsien’s A Time To Live, A Time To Die (1985), a coming-of-age story about generational conflicts in the stifling atmosphere of post-war Taiwan. The third part, Paradox of a Nation, shows the heavy-handedness of an authoritarian regime that cracked down on its citizens instead of protecting them. It includes one of the Green Team’s video-documentations of the 1980s’ numerous protest movements which were preparing the ground for Taiwan’s democratization. In Time(s) of a Nation, festivalgoers will be treated to some of best feature and documentary films of the Taiwan cinema. The films, all of which are of more than hundred minutes in length, are portraits of their times that will allow audiences to get immersed into a Taiwanese world. Edward Yang’s masterpiece Yi Yi (A One and a Two) (2000) is one of the many treats offered to Kosovo’s cineastes in this unprecedented showcase of Taiwanese filmmaking.
The retrospective “Birth of a Nation: Focus on Taiwan@DokuFest” was organized with the support of the Taiwan Film Institute and the Taipei Representative Office, Budapest, Hungary.
Birth of a Nation: Focus on Taiwan@DokuFest 2018
This retrospective program is divided into 4 sections reflecting Taiwanese history, politics, identity, people’s power and daily life.
Keywords: White Terror, Diaspora, Ethnic Groups, Traumatic Memory, Social
Movement, Independent Country (without international recognition)
#1 Portrait of a Nation (5 films)
The Mountain (Digital Restoration) by Richard Yao-chi CHEN Taiwan, B&W, 1966, 19min
Liu Pi-Chia (Digital Restoration) by Richard Yao-chi CHEN Taiwan, Color, 1967, 27min
How Deep Is the Ocean by TANG Shiang-chu Taiwan, Color, 2000, 60min
Spring: The Story of Hsu Chin-Yu by TSENG Wen-Chen Taiwan, B&W, Color, 2002, 80min
62 Years and 6,500 Miles Between by Anita Wen-Shin CHANG Taiwan, Color, 2005, 52min
#2 Memory of a Nation (7 films)
A Time To Live, A Time To Die by HOU Hsiao-hsien Taiwan, Color, 1985, 138min
Super Citizen Ko by WAN Jen Taiwan, Color, 1995, 121min
The Falling Kite by HSIAO Mei-ling Taiwan, Color, 1999, 42min
Pusu Qhuni by TANG Shiang-chu Taiwan, Color, 2013, 154min
Letter #69 by LIN Hsin-i Taiwan, Color, 2016, 19min
Return by HUANG Pang-chuan Taiwan, B&W, 2017, 19min
The War that Never Was by CHANG Chien-Chi Taiwan, Color, 2017, 16min
#3 Paradox of a Nation (7 films)
The 20th May Incident by Green Team Taiwan, Color, 1989, 69min
Chinese Television News Clips
The 20th May Incident: Farmers’ Demonstration by Chinese Television System Inc. Taiwan, Color, 1989, 3min
The 20th May Incident: The Truck Driver by Chinese Television System Inc. Taiwan, Color, 1989, 3min
The 20th May Incident: Situation in Ximen from Nighttime to Early Morning by Chinese Television System Inc. Taiwan, Color, 1989, 3min
Verdict Announced Today for the 20th May Incident by Chinese Television System Inc. Taiwan, Color, 1989, 2min
I Love (080) by YANG Li-chou Taiwan, Color, 1999, 58min
Resampling the Past by Marco WILMS Taiwan, B&W, 2010, 16min
The 561st Hour of Occupation by YUAN Goang-ming Taiwan, Color, 2014, 7min
Terra Nullius or: How to Be A Nationalist by James T. Hong Taiwan, Color, 2015, 78min
Home Abroad by Boan WANG Taiwan, Color, 2017, 10min
#4 Time(s) of a Nation (4 films)
Yi Yi (A One and a Two) by Edward YANG Taiwan, Color, 2000, 173min
The Best Of Times by CHANG Tso-chi Taiwan, Color, 2002, 112min
Hand in Hand by YEN Lan-chuan & CHUANG Yi-tseng Taiwan, Color, 2010, 140min
Le Moulin, by HUANG Ya-li Taiwan, Color, 2015, 162min