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National Bandits: A Beautiful Mistake

Director :
Year :


  • Taiwan
Color :
Running Time :
63 min
  • Politics
  • History
  • Society
  • Human Interest
  • Ethnology
  • Folk
  • Religion


The elderly Bununs of Tung-Pu have habitually referred to workers at the Yu Mountain National Park as 'national bandits' instead of 'national park employees.' In the eyes of these old Bununs, the designation of this land as national park has robbed them of most of their ancestral territories, leaving only a very small portion for them to live and farm. To them, this is what bandits do. With the arriveal of the Japanese occupation as well as the Nationalist regime, the land that used to belong to the aborigines became national property and went under the management of the Forestry Bureau and the National Park Administrators. The aborigines were evicted from their farms and ancestral hunting grounds; even foraging for wild vegetables in these lands had become illegal. No longer capable of sustaining their traditional ways of life, they began to drift into the cities to look for menial work in order to make a living. In April 1999, the Department of Public Constructions of the Ministry of Interior began plans for another National Park called Nun-Dan, which would encompass the mountain areas of Ren-Ai and Hsin Yin in Nantou County. Many ancestral lands and hunting grounds of aboriginal tribes including Tayal, Sedeq, Truku, and Bunun were annexed. The creation of the Nun-Dan, pushed by ethnic Dhinese historians, cultural workers, mountaineers, and environmentalists, would bring about the permanent relocation of these indigenous people. But this time, the aborigines have refused to be silent. Coming from all over Taiwan, they rented tour buses with their own money to travel to the capital city of Taipei. Over a thousand aborigines gathered in front of the Ministry of Interior and protested under the scorching sun. They shouted in their mother tongue, they don't want a national park that would hurt the aborigines. 


Source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival


2000 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - Taiwan Focus: Landscape of Life
2000 Taiwna International Documentary Festival

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