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Taiwan Docs Selection

Taiwan Docs Selection

Taiwan Docs, the promotion platform for Taiwanese filmmaking reinforces the visibility of Taiwanese filmmakers abroad by collaborating with international film festivals. Although most of the film festivals had cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, you can still catch some prestigious titles with us! (Viewing is free, but accessible from outside Taiwan.)

The Taoyuan Airport Incident
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: Green Team
Year:1986
Running Time:61 min
On 30 November 1986, during the legislative election campaign, leading opposition figure HSU Hsin-liang planned to fly back to Taiwan after years of exile. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) called for a mass mobilisation to welcome him at the airport. However, they unexpectedly confronted a large number of police and military personnel on the highway to the airport. The police attempted to disperse the crowd with water cannons and tear gas numerous times. The two sides even attacked each other with rocks.
The 20th May Incident
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: Green Team
Year:1988
Running Time:69 min
On 20 May 1988, Yunlin Farmers’Rights Association took thousands of farmers to Taipei to protest against the government's indifference to farmers’rights. After they allied to the Legislative Yuan, some farmers clashed with the police when trying to enter for restroom. Several were arrested. After nightfall, farmers headed to Chengjhong police station, demanding the release of the arrested. However, they were dispersed by military police with baton and water cannon. Around 1am the next morning, student supporters were also evicted harshly.
Green TV's Inaugural Film
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: Green Team
Year:1989
Running Time:11 min
Broadcast media should serve as tools for the voices of society, yet for a long time the KMT has held a monopoly over Taiwan's TV channels, using the lack of channel bandwidth as an excuse for its stranglehold. This is much the same as the ban on newspapers: the KMT justified the ban by claiming there was not enough space in the market for new newspaper, which only served to control and dominate the media to do its bidding. Green Team thus went into action to override these unreasonable restrictions.
How Was History Wounded
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: CHEANG Shu-lea
Year:1989
Running Time:24 min
The wave of student protesters at the Tiananmen Square in 1989 not only commanded media attention around the world, but also attracted the governing authority of Taiwan to cover the issue for its own good. Taiwan news media all stood together with the government to manipulate the event in a dramatic manner, so to consolidate the governing power and strengthen people's anti-communist sentiments. On 11 June 1989, the CPC authorities arrested some dissidents who were recognised in the videos shot by American Broadcasting Company (ABC).
Moon Children
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: Yii-feng WU
Year:1990
Running Time:63 min
It is said that the Indian trive San Blas albinos "moon children", who are discriminated in their society. Those "moon children" are allowed to work only at night and marriage is prohibited. In Taiwan, albinos probably fare no better. One day, the 16 year-old WU Kuo-huang was taken as a "ghost" when he returned to the dormitory after work. His factory forced him to leave with all kinds of excuses. Then he was excluded from employment everywhere. Yet WU was never discouraged. His hard work earned him a massage license, which enabled him to set up his professional massage service. WU also won Miss HSIAO's love and got married. Among WU's albino friends, some of them are faced with discrimination at workplace, some study hard to enter college; and the others, still young, are despised by their peers. Moon children and their family bear hardship and pain that is unknown to other.
My Homework
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: TSENG Wen-chen
Year:1998
Running Time:40 min
As a student of the Tainan National College of Arts, TSENG's made this video to complete her assignment to make a documentary. She began to record the daily life of her own family. Her mother, the center of this family is the main character of this film. She talked about the hard in the past and her wish of all the children married happily. The mother is very curious about the camera; and the interactions and conversations between them revealed spontaneously. It's an ordinary family like most families. The films presents a mother's persistence and strength when facing difficulties, her contentment with a better living condition and her loves for her children.
Swimming on the Highway
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: WU Yao-tung
Year:1998
Running Time:49 min
A 30-year-old man, self-destructive and anxious. A 26-year-old friend with a video camera. This is a very personal film about their relationship. The flamboyant man flirts with the camera, while the filmmaker is tormented, forcing himself to go on with the filming. Their sincerity in the face of undefeatable facts is moving. Now, 20 years later, the filmmaker revisits his protagonist and makes another film titled Goodnight & Goodbye. WU Yao-tung: ‘On Taiwan's National Day in 1997, under the fireworks in Ximenting, I started filming this documentary about the “love and hate” between Tom and me...The filming lasted a whole year. What existed all the time between us was the fight: the fight between the one who filmed and the one who was filmed, the fight to control the camera, and the fight for honesty and trust between friends. But for him, it was probably a fight for life and death. Of course I don't understand how life can be so bitter, desperate, anxious and indifferent. It is not a matter of the essence of documentary or interference. Nor is it a matter of academic theories or practice. It is just about me and him and the questions between us; that's all.’
Let It Be
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: YEN Lan-chuan
Year:2004
Running Time:111 min
The little island of Taiwan has many mountains and few plateaus, but its population density is among the highest in the world. How can such a small island feed so many people?
Passing Through My Mother-in-law's Village
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: HU Tai-li
Year:1997
Running Time:87 min
The East-West Highway was soon to be built in central Taiwan. It would pass through the village of Liu Ts'o, and many homes and rice paddies would be destroyed. The film maker went back to her mother-in-law's village Liu Ts'o, where she did anthropological research from 1976-78, to preserve some images of life forever. This film was shot in a natural and intimate climate. During the annual two harvests, various activities in daily life and festivals were presented in the film reflecting the villagers' attitudes towards gods, ghosts, ancestors, women, farmlands, urbanization, industrialization, reclamation and resettlement. The film maker attempted to reveal the Taiwanese way of facing drastic social changes.Copyright © HU Tai-li. All Rights Reserved.
Somewhere Over the Cloud
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: HSIAO Mei-ling
Year:2007
Running Time:102 min
A series of letters that the filmmaker wrote to her late teacher and mentor, the renowned American documentary filmmaker Robert KRAMER (1939-1999), is woven throughout the plot of the story as the boundaries of life, distance, language, identity and nationality are re-examined from the perspective of Elodie, her daughter. Elodie is half French and half Taiwanese; conceived in Indonesia, she was born in Taiwan. At her birth, her French father applied for an unpaid leave and arrived in Taiwan to stay for a year. After having returned to France, the webcam becomes the means by which they know each other; her real father is confined behind a small, virtual screen. The meaning of "Daddy" begins to change when Elodie grows up, from being the computer, to the mouthpiece of the teddy bear and the intruder who competes with her for her mother's affection...   Source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF)
Formosa Dream, Disrupted
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: HUANG Shu-mei
Year:2007
Running Time:145 min
Mudslides came after a devastating earthquake, forcing 20 families to move out from their homes at the Chingshui village of Chungliao township in Nantou county. Seeking places to survive, residents found a piece of state-owned land at the mountain-foot, with hopes to rebuild their home. But such a practice of using state-owned property to accommodate disaster victims was unprecedented. With assistance from the outside, residents finally made a breakthrough after two years of efforts in garnering the rights to lease the land and were ready to rebuild their home. However, after the county government started the public construction, residents' dream of rebuilding homes disappeared overnight. Copyright ©HUANG Shu-mei. All Rights Reserved.
Boys for Beauty
Duration: 2020/11/25 ~ 2020/12/09
Director: Mickey CHEN
Year:1999
Running Time:63 min
A frank and entertaining portrait of the lives and family relations of three gay teenagers in Taipei. This documentary candidly captures the day-to-day realities of its protagonists, and makes a brave statement against gender norms in a Confucian society. One boy decides to break up with his boyfriend before studying abroad, another is an elite high school student seen as an outcast by his peers, and still another is a beautiful, androgynous cross-dressing performer. Besides its subjects, the film also recognizes their supportive family members who must necessarily bear much of the pressure when their son or brother comes out of the closet. Marking an exceptional achievement for documentaries in Taiwan, the film was a box-office success as well as a brilliant exposé of the lifestyles of people on the fringes of society.
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