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Looking for the Salt

Director :
Year :
1999

Country: 

  • Taiwan
Color :
Color
Running Time :
42 min
  • BETACAM
  • Investigative
  • Author's Point of View
  • Generation
  • Youth
  • Senior
  • Art
  • Culture
  • Music

Introduction

A five-day festival is held on the campus of National Taiwan University by Indigenous Soundtrack Club to train the initiates with events including a carol service, an evening party, an indigenous language speech contest, a rite of passage and a harvest festival. Numerous conflicts arise between the festival events and nearby activities, such as a rowdy concert subverting the solemnity of the festival and the taboo against outsider participation (especially of Han people). In the speech contest, contestants recite their scripts so stiffly that one reviewer comments, “there is no ‘salt’ in the speech of these indigenous language speakers,” which inspires the title of the film. Wen-Ling Lin, Professor at National Chiao Tung University, has pinpointed the issue discussed in the film: the journey of looking for the salt in the loss of mother tongue is the process of finding identity and constructing meanings.

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