Finish year

The Beautician

Director :
Year :


  • Taiwan
Color :
Running Time :
56 min
  • 16mm
  • Society
  • Human Interest
  • Ethnology
  • Folk
  • Religion


Who makes up the dead for the last time in their life?

Liou Shu-yin, a mother of a daughter, works at Taipei’s Second Funeral Home as a beautician. She makes up around 180 bodies every month, seeing people mourning for their family members of friends everyday. To her, it is most painful to see a child body. Sometimes, despite years of experiences, she was shocked to find the one she was making up was indeed her old friend from school. Recently, she has been thinking of moving to the U.S to start a new life with her daughter.

Liou Kway-Ian works at Taipei’s First Funeral Home. She is divorced with two sons and two daughters. To raise her children, Liou Kway-Ian took the well-paid job. Her children, however, would not tell others about her job, and even Liou herself does not want to say anything about it. After all, people might be prejudiced against it.

In the hustle and bustle of the funeral house, the beauticians patiently pick up the powder box and the puff, making up the dead for their last time.


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Director Statement

"The film revolves around the lives of beauticians at funeral homes and explores their own values of life.

In their voice over, they recall the ups and downs of their lives: their childhood, their marriage, their families, the difficulties they have to overcome in their profession, and most important of all, their own perception of life and death. We see how people learn self-assurance from their own lives." -- Fong-Chi Lai


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival


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


  • Director
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