Stories of bidding farewell to one’s youth and growing up are commonplace. The dream shared by the protagonists in the film is to build a better country by rebelling against the establishment. However, their fight becomes part of history in the turbulent relations between Taiwan and China.
A Taiwanese student movement star, who fights against China, a celebrity Chinese student, who loves Taiwan, and I, a Taiwanese documentary filmmaker passionate about politics are in this film. Clashes should come between us, but we find the possibility of collaborating with each other in the social movements. After the biggest social movement in Taiwan in the past 24 years had taken place, we came close to realising our goals but gradually we were let down again. Is it still possible for us to continue fighting for the ideals we had been pursuing?
I am Taiwanese. As a citizen of a small nation, like many of my fellow Taiwanese, I hope that my country could be seen by more people around the world. However, the anxiety we have due to the threat from such a big country like China seems to turn the Taiwanese more hostile towards the Chinese than I can accept. For a long time, the subject matter I’ve been interested in is to see whether there is a possible common ground that makes two people, who are supposed to be against each other, try to understand or even collaborate with each other. By shooting this film, I am very fortunate to get to know Boyi and Wei-ting better. Furthermore, through their exploration of their countries and democracy, I find that it is possible for the Taiwanese and Chinese to learn to understand each other but also how the harsh reality in politics makes it so difficult for them to work together. More importantly, I have come to realise that they are not just “Chinese”, “Taiwanese”, “Chinese student in Taiwan” or “leader of the student movement” as labelled; they are real “people”, who have free will and are so alive and yet so fragile. I hope that this film will make the audiences more willing to see things from this angle and to understand those who look different from us or even hostile towards us.
2018 Taipei Film Awards - Best Documentary
2018 Golden Horse Awards - Best Documentary/Best Film Editing nomination