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Fire Brigade

Director :
Year :
1997

Country: 

  • Taiwan
Color :
Color
Running Time :
40 min
  • Portrait

Introduction

Copyright © Backstage Studio. All Rights Reserved.

 

The staff of the fire brigade of Yungho, a city in Taipei area, consists of only 13 people, who are responsible for the safety of the lives and property of 260,000 people. They shoulder not only a heavy physical burden, but significant psychological stress as well. Due to uneven development between the countryside and the urban, most people have to move to cities for work. Only one member of the brigade is from Taipei; the others come from the central, southern, and eastern parts of Taiwan. The system of job relocation among fire brigades on the island isn’t developed, so the brigade members don’t know when they’ll be able to go home. This leaves them facing problems of marriage, making friends, as well as adapting to a new set of social values.

 

source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

 

Director Statement

Copyright © Backstage Studio. All Rights Reserved.

 

I started filming the fire brigade in November 1996. I was involved in their life during the eight months of shooting. It became a routine for me to go to the firehouse and wait for the phone every day. Shooting became less important in a way.

The film was first shown at the firehouse in Jun, 1997. I was pleased with the showing. For all of us, it was like watching a home video with the family.

On February 21, 1998, I sat with the fire brigade in front of the TV, waiting for the show which tells our story. The fire brigade got a lot of calls of encouragement after the film was shown. However, a fire official called in and scold the firemen. His criticisms changed my relationship with the brigade. I was now an obstacle standing in their way of promotions. Some were still kind to me, but tensions arose in the families of the other. There was even a divorce. Those two weeks were painful for both me and the brigade.

By March, I was afraid of what I had done, and didn’t dare to visit the brigade. I hoped that time would heal the pains from what had happened. I stayed silent during this time, and continued to ask myself, “Why do I want to make documentaries? Why do I want to make documentaries?”

Awards

1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - Int'l Video Competition
1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival

Team

  • Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Producer
  • Cinematographer
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