Interviewed, translated and edited by Isabelle Cheng. On 30 October 2020, the Taiwan Studies Programme hosted a webinar after the online screening of a pilot documentary Nine Shots (槍響之前) directed by Tsai Tsung-lung. This essay is an interview with Tsai about this pilot documentary, which discusses what, if not who, was responsible for the tragic death of Nguyen Quoc Phi. The latter was an undocumented Vietnamese migrant worker who was shot dead by the police, firing nine shots in 12 seconds, on 31 August 2017 in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan.
Written by Milo Hsieh. Alan Yang’s first feature film, Tigertail, recounts the tale of Pin-jui, a Taiwanese immigrant estranged from his family after arriving in New York. The Taiwanese backdrop sets the film apart from The Farewell, which also captured attention with its Asian American immigrant narrative. This has heightened expectations among Taiwanese and diaspora audiences for a film that portrays Taiwan not as a generic East Asian country but one with a unique culture and history.
Written by J. Michael Cole. A long time in the making and after many challenges, a major politico-historical TV drama about Taiwan’s democratization will finally hit TV sets nationwide on 20 January. Based on political developments and figures from the 1990s, “Island Nation” (國際橋牌社) follows the hopes, fears and travails of a wide set of fictional characters in the dramatic years of Taiwan’s transition from an authoritarian state to a democracy.
Written by Catherine Ju-yu Cheng. The critically acclaimed 2014 Taiwanese film Kano, which was produced by Wei Te-Sheng and Jimmy Huang, and directed by Umin Boya, was based on the true story of the meteoric rise of a Japanese colonial-era (1895-1945) Taiwanese baseball team.
Written by Yao-hung Huang. The Taiwanese director Wei De-Sheng burst onto the international scene over a decade ago with his critically acclaimed musical drama Cape No. 7. The movie was an unexpected box office success, and saw Wei held up as a beacon of hope for Taiwan’s beleaguered film industry. Nonetheless, Cape 7 came under fire in some quarters for painting the legacy of Japanese colonial rule in a positive light.
Written by Tim Shao-Hung Teng. In 2015 Taiwanese filmmaker Huang Ya-li (黃亞歷) released his documentary Le Moulin (Riyaori shi sanbuzhe/ 日曜式散步者) to critical acclaim. The film recounts the major life events of four core members of Taiwan’s prewar surrealist poetry society, Le Moulin (fengche shishe/風車詩社). Known for its experimental style that does away with interviews and voice-over narrations, the nearly-three-hour film cites, extracts, pastes, and freely associates materials such as literature, paintings, photography, sounds, film footage, diary entries, and newspaper clippings. These sources are not always readily recognisable and nor are they all directly related to the poets’ works.
Written by Maja Korbecka. There are yet more talented Southeast Asian Chinese diaspora filmmakers working in contemporary Taiwan cinema and bringing forth their own complex heritage, stories and new ideas to work with film art. They represent hope for revival and new directions in Taiwan cinema. Through their work they contribute to projecting the image of Taiwan as a multiethnic and multicultural state, the full potential of which is yet to be discovered.
Written By Chin-ju Lin. A Seediq perspective on the uprising and genocide might still be forthcoming and would be welcome as Wei’s movie reopened the historical trauma without the Seediq being ready to see themselves represented in such a compromising way.
Written by Shao-yi Chan. In this respect, the personal, private struggle seems to give way to a social, public conflict that resituates the family as the overarching element in Taiwan’s queer politics.
Written by Terez Vincz The key figure of the second wave of Taiwanese New Cinema, Tsai Ming-liang’s The Walker (2012) consists of twenty-one shots recorded by a fixed camera. This article will
Written by Terez Vincze “I think that our present age is probably the worst time of all to be alive… Living in today’s world is terrible, I’m always
Written by Tiago de Luca With 10 feature-length films to his credit, Tsai is a central figure in what is now broadly referred to as