Other than the traditional cultures of the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan, the most long-standing stereotypes of the aboriginals are that they share a na... (Read more)
Other than the traditional cultures of the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan, the most long-standing stereotypes of the aboriginals are that they share a natural talent for singing and sports far beyond those of ordinary Han Chinese.
The documentary Sing It (2009) shows a principal of a remote elementary school in Nantou leading his indigenous students as they form a small chorus and overcome hardships along the way. Despite being short of professional training and resources, they still attend major choral competitions around Taiwan to great success, eventually winning a national tournament, recording an album, and singing at the National Day celebrations. Aboriginal people’s talent for singing is also the focus of The Rhythm in Wulu Village (2003). This documentary presents the distinctive musical style of the Taitung’s Bunun people, a form of octophonic a capella, bringing new attention among Western musicologists to such forms of complex polyphonic harmony.
Baseball Boys (2008) from Shen Ko-Shang relates the story of a group of indigenous fifth and sixth-grade baseball lovers and players in Hualien. Despite living in hard conditions and being unable to get the training resources and equipment they need, the team still wins several games around Taiwan and ultimately get to the National Little League Baseball Tournament. Rather than focus on the stereotypical depiction of aborigines as natural athletes or indulge in the patriotic fervor around baseball, Shen instead creates a realistic depiction of the lives and challenges of the children.
Cheng Wen-Tang’s Somewhere Over the Dreamland (2002) profoundly discusses the political and economic situation of indigenous people in Taiwan, depicting a second generation of aborigines who have been forced to leave their tribal villages to work as manual labor in the big city and the alienation and rootlessness they suffer. After they survive exploitation and pressure, they yearn to drag their worn-out bodies back to their hometowns and their wonderful pasts; however, this turns out to be an unrealizable dream. Full of trauma and melancholy over the aboriginal situation, this film is a strong indictment of Han Chinese, modernized cities, and industrialization.
Tseng Wen-Chen’s Fishing Luck (2005), set on Orchid Island off Taiwan’s southeast coast, tells a love story between a Han girl from Taipei and a young Tao aboriginal man. This film is filled with the beautiful natural scenery of Orchid Island and with the Tao culture. Gorgeous scenery, slow-paced lifestyles, and genuine human connection—these wonders sharply contrast with and satirize the physically absent but pervasively present sin of Taiwan’s Han Chinese majority: the nuclear waste they dump on Orchid Island.
The film puts together four sequences shot on 35mm from 1920 to 1939 that show Indigenous people’s lives during Japanese rule, offering a glimpse insi... (Read more)
The film opens with a group of Bunun doctors, Han Chinese anthropologists, and anti-nuclear activists sitting on a seashore, exchanging their motivati... (Read more)
The film follows the life of SU’s grandfather, Teymu Teylong, a famous hunter in his ethnic clan who has lived through Japanese rule, as he farms and ... (Read more)
Artist Rahic Talif came from the Amis ethnic group but hid his Indigenous identity when young. It wasn’t until he saw art works created by Indigenous ... (Read more)
Manawei, a Yami boy, lives on Orchid Island with his grandmother while his father is away from home working. He hopes that his father will bring him a... (Read more)
Amis teenager, Futing, is a city boy who is asked to return to his coastal village one summer to take care of his injured grandpa. There, he meets Lis... (Read more)
Watan, Chen Hao and Lin Shan are three playful Sqoyaw boys forced to deal with problems too big for their age. For Watan, his grandmother, elder broth... (Read more)
Through the director’s perspective and voice-over narration, we follow three family stories: Yaki (“Grandma” in Tayal) reminiscences about the communi... (Read more)
Dressed in traditional Amis clothing, a young girl, Nakaw, rides a scooter past a succession of tour buses into a beautiful, ethnic coastal village. B... (Read more)
In 1930, the Seediq people living high in Taiwan’s mountains rose up against the oppressive rule of the Japanese government in what became known as th... (Read more)
KAO Ta-Hao, a fugitive going into hiding, meets teenage runaway Hsiao-Shan at a train station. To cover for each other, they disguise themselves as a ... (Read more)
Every winter, the elusive Formosan black bear, Taiwan’s indigenous species, comes to the heart of Yushan National Park for food, giving the region its... (Read more)
Luomabike is a young fisherman from Orchid Island. His lover Lofat tells him that a priest is taking her to Taiwan to learn tailoring. They bid farewe... (Read more)
A-Te used to be a social movement fanatic. But after suffering the pain of divorce and the death of his child, he changed his profession and became a ... (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)
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)
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)