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Wang-yew Boat Ceremony

Director :
Year :


  • Taiwan
Color :
Running Time :
20 min
  • 16mm
  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Experimental
  • Ethnology
  • Folk
  • Religion


This film portrays the ritual of King ship burning 20 years ago in Su Chu Village, Tainan county. The King is the god of plagues, which, it is said, could exterminate diseases and evil spirits. People go through the ritual by building the wooden ship, greeting the King, parading in the streets, and the burning the ship on the beach or in the field to drive bad luck away. The film has no interviews, voice-over, subtitles or location sound recording. Yet the images of people, fire and the god somehow evoke spirituality and our imagination.


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Director Statement

"This film is not a documentation of folk traditions, but a reconstruction how the villagers enact their pilgrimage and interact with their gods of spirits. The religious rituals in Taiwan are always noisy and seemingly chaotic, yet with a strong force of life. To make the meaning of the ritual easier to grasp, the film try to reveal passion and paranoia of the pilgrims and turn it into a spectacle of joy and pathos.

This is the only thing I expect to achieve in the film." -- Chao-Tang Chang


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival


1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - About the Island: Taiwan Documentary Retrospective
1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival


  • Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Script Writer
  • Cinematographer
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