The Bad Man is a documentary of the life story of a violent and bloodthirsty young man from Kachin, Myanmar, who casually discusses killing as if it were not his own story. His past of a non-voluntary, military life has cost him a great deal and completely changed his post-military life. With all the wounds and experiences, he is now considering which path to take for the future.
I have chosen to document the life of a Burmese Kachin soldier, as I endeavour to manipulate things happening at the moment through filming. Myanmar has a history of the longest civil war in the world, which has lasted for more than seven decades.
The documentary, The Bad Man, outlines a story that is similar to my childhood experience. The protagonist in the film was captured by the Kachin Independence Army to serve as a soldier, which completely changed his life forever. I can remember one night as a child, the Kachin Independence Army broke into my house and conscripted me to serve in the army. I was only eight years old at that time. I was frightened and cried continuously. My parents tried by every means possible to prevent my being taken away by the Army. It was not until the soldiers were satisfied by the food and wine prepared by my parents, did they concede to letting me stay with my family.
Based on these experiences, when I encountered the protagonist, I couldn’t help but ask myself, "If I had failed to escape that night when the Army came for me, would my life have turned out the same as this man's? Would my mind have become as numb as his in relation to deeds that seem cruel by the standards of normal people?"
Every individual holds their own answer to the question “Is human nature inherently good or inherently evil?” However, I believe that everything we encounter in life will add small changes to our original nature.
2021 Taipei Film Awards - Best Documentary Nomination