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Coming Home

Director :
Year :
1997

Country: 

  • Taiwan
Color :
Color
Running Time :
56 min
  • 16mm
  • Society
  • Human Interest
  • Investigative
  • Author's Point of View

Introduction

Mr. Tang is a forty-year-old man. Several year ago, in 1992, in a drunken rage he set fire to a KTV, killing 16 innocent people. For his crime, he was sentenced to death. Mrs. Tu’s newly-web brother was one of the tragic victims of the fire. She, even with the loss of her brother, decided to forgive Mr. Tang while the families of the other victims could only condemn him. She wrote the first meeting in prison between Mr. Tang and Mrs. Tu, and continues to follow the spiritual interactions between these characters. This film offers its viewers a story that will cause them to reflect on the different views of life and death.

 

source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Director Statement

"I carried a copy of Coming Home to the stationary store one fall afternoon, to buy a manila envelope so I could send the tape off to my old teacher, Mr. Liu. The lady at the counter saw the name of Tang Min-Hsiung on the tape, and looked surprised. She asked me where I got the tape. I told her I was the director, it was my film, and then a long conversation started off. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation.

“Why didn’t he kill himself after he committed his crimes?”; “How can he ask for forgiveness?”; “Yes, what Tu Hua-ming did was extraordinary. It’s very impressive. But you can’t expect everyone to forgive Tang for his acts, let alone the 15 victims. I don’t even forgive him, what about them?”

Two months after Tang was put to death. I couldn’t get the image of the clerk’s spiteful face out of my mind. The image cuts to the first glimpse I got of Tang’s peaceful face. My mind was in a blur.

As an independent film producer, I should be honored that a film shot on such a small budget has created such a stir. But I keep on wondering, what is crime? How should society treat “criminals”?

What separates the plight of victims of crime with the lawful punishment of a convicted criminal? I have no answers to these questions, until I learned about Tu Hua-ming’s “unconditional forgiveness and acceptance” as a way of rehabilitating Tang. Their relationship was one of sisters and brothers, and this moved me. It moved enough to shoot this film with Chu Shu-tuan even though both of us were flat broke.

These images compete with the clerk’s anger, and merge together in a montage. She was only expressing her opinion. I used to think like her, in fact. I’d be unable to forgive him if I was one of the 15 that he hurt. How can the living forgive what a killer has been taken away? But the killer has put to death…..." -- Hsiu-Ching Wu

 

source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Awards

1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - International Competition - Film Section
1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival

Team

  • Director
  • Script Writer
  • Project Manager
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
  • Cinematographer
  • Project Manager
  • Sound
  • Assistant Cinematographer
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