Taiwan is a country with a diverse culture and all-embracing humanity that are a particular focus of folk and popular culture. The blockbuster Cape No... (Read more)
Taiwan is a country with a diverse culture and all-embracing humanity that are a particular focus of folk and popular culture. The blockbuster Cape No. 7 (2008) triggered a revival of Taiwan cinema, enjoying unexpected box-office success in part through its depiction of a variety of people: a young man who dreams of becoming a rock singer, a Japanese girl working alone in Taiwan, down-home Taiwanese youths, a postman, a church organist, an aboriginal policeman, and a Hakka salesman. Ultimately these people of dissimilar backgrounds come together on stage to perform, after first adjusting to one another.
After the lifting of martial law in the late 1980s, a “Taiwanization” movement started to boom. Local culture was no longer tied to a “vulgar” lifestyle, but instead came into vogue. In Eighteen (1993), exuberant Taiwanese youths of the first generation were shown on the big screen as tramps, rambling around in a coastal town, finding a way to survive. This film is realistic yet surrealistic, dark and uncanny, bawdy and erotic, totally unlike the folk culture displayed in other films of the Taiwan New Cinema or other localized images. Tears (2009) queries the possibility of “transitional justice,” a serious issue emerging during the democratic progress of Taiwan. The betel nut beauties and middle-aged drifter in this film seem to call on local Taiwanese to proudly shoulder the responsibility of being “real Taiwanese.” The country seen in Grandma and Her Ghosts (1998) is also both realistic and surrealistic, as the film introduces fantastic and even eerie customs and rituals. Religious beliefs play an important part in the folk culture of Taiwan, and as many people accept and respect the existence of spirits, specters, and celestial beings, related folktales continue to be passed down around the nation, which thus abounds with stories and vitality.
Even more “authentically Taiwanese” than the homegrown ethnic Chinese are the aboriginal peoples in Taiwan. An impressive portrait of Taiwanese aboriginals in a sorry plight is found in 2002’s Somewhere Over the Dreamland. The Gangsters’ God (2006) captures the god Handan being played by aboriginal youths in the “Daoist God Patrol” together with an underworld gang leader in Taitung. In addition, God Man Dog (2007) opens with three storylines intertwine three groups of people of different social classes and races, including a scene of an aboriginal couple transporting vegetables from Taitung to Taipei that highlights the political-economic distinctions between Taiwanese aborigines and the Han Chinese.
Lastly, the Hakka people in Blue Brave (2008) stake their claim to being part of the Taiwanese people by telling their history of fighting the Japanese army came to take over Taiwan in 1895. The mainland Chinese like those in Peach Blossom Land (1992) and Grandma’s Hairpin (2000), are not the only Chinese diaspora; the overseas Chinese population is also. The elderly tai chi master in Pushing Hands (1991) immigrates to New York from Taiwan, but fails to acclimate to that modern metropolis and ends up with leaving his son and American daughter-in-law, choosing to live alone.
Vietnamese woman NGUYEN Kim Hongmoved to Taiwan in pursuit of happiness and a cross-cultural marriage. However, she was forced to divorce her husband ... (Read more)
During Taiwan’s period of Japanese rule in the 1930s, a group of pineapple farmers sailed to the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa to start a new life. Over ... (Read more)
While on a train, Ren-pu and his father check whether the money inside each red envelope matches their list of designated names. They are returning to... (Read more)
Set in Japan: On a bitter cold day with heavy snow, YANG, from Taiwan, goes to a newspaper office to apply for a paperboy job. The boss states that he... (Read more)
A Chinese food delivery boy from Taiwan searches for his mother in New York with a photo of Marlene DIETRIH. His neighbor Wayne makes a living by clea... (Read more)
‘‘Honey, I am away to make money, because ― No Money, No Honey!’’Money and Honey is an Asian documentary that spans thirteen years. It intimately port... (Read more)
Chinese Mainlander ZHAO travels from Beijing to Taiwan to pursue Shin-yi, the love of his life. However, due to the historical turmoil between Taiwan ... (Read more)
The colonial government view the uprising of the Seediq tribe as a major crisis and send Major General Yahiko KAMADA, with 3,000 police and soldiers, ... (Read more)
WEI Te-sheng's epic film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale reclaims an extraordinary but little known episode from 20th century history. Between 18... (Read more)
The teacher at an aboriginal primary school nestled in the mountains gives the students a weekend assignment for which the students must try and find ... (Read more)
Shot on 16mm film, this documentary captures two years in the life of the director’s friend, Mamuno, a Tao, or Lanyu island tribesman. Through Mamuno’... (Read more)
Forever Love pays tribute to Taiwan’s local film industry in the 1960s when Taiwanese dialect films were cheap, stars were gods, and spies, giant mons... (Read more)
In December 1941, the Pacific War broke out. Back then Taiwan was still under Japanese Rule. Hundreds of Taiwanese were drafted into the war. When the... (Read more)
In 1965, director CHEN Yao-Chi made Liu Pi-Chia, Taiwan’s first observational documentary. Its eponymous character was a farmer press-ganged into the ... (Read more)
"I'm a cultured woman, travelling about footloose and fancy-free…” So begins a lilting tune from Taiwan's “Dance Age” of the 1920s and 1930s, a parado... (Read more)
A dark and poetic comedy, 7 Days in Heaven centers on one woman's experience of the death and funeral of her father. Mei, resolutely urban, makes her ... (Read more)
This exquisite black-and-white animated short poignantly explores a personal family story in an innovative fashion, and casts a nostalgic gaze at Taiw... (Read more)
Titisi is an Indonesian in-home carer looking after an old Taiwanese lady who is trapped in her illness and painful memories. The pair are close, even... (Read more)
During a peaceful weekend in Taipei, a French TV crew unexpectedly visits a Taiwanese family of three, claiming to shoot a reality show that aims to f... (Read more)
Watan, a member of the aboriginal Atayal tribe, left his village to find work in the city, and returned as a depressive alcoholic with a broken leg. A... (Read more)
Monga is named for Mengjia, an old district of Taipei which has long been the domain of the local gangsters. Mosquito, the teenage son of a single mot... (Read more)
A multi-lingual tour guide who owns multiple passports one day drives his wife and daughter to a desolate seashore town and checks in a secluded, spac... (Read more)
Guo is a middle-aged police detective nearing retirement. He is stern, stubborn, and solitary, and lives alone in a boarding room after divorce. The b... (Read more)
Master Lin makes paper houses—or paper “origami villas”—for the dead. His son Gang has just started working at a real estate a... (Read more)
This is a portrait of patients of Alzheimer disease: Hsu Ching-Chen tends to be forgetful about the fact that her husband is long gone, except when sh... (Read more)
“Juliet's Choice” It is the 1970s and Taiwan is under Martial Law. Hsiu-Chu, a lame young woman, labors in a printing shop. One day a youn... (Read more)
Ching, a depressed hand model, tries to release herself from the pain of losing a newborn baby, but neither religious belief nor random affairs can he... (Read more)
Master Chu, a retired and aging Tai-Chi master, emigrates to New York to live with his son Alex, his American daughter-in-law Martha, and his grandson... (Read more)