Glimpses of Taiwan

The complicated development of Taiwan’s modern history cannot be comprehended in a few sentences, but can be captured in short films. We present a selection of short Taiwanese films where the filmmakers use their signature style (often an avant-garde one) to share their experience from various historical periods.

The time of Japanese rule is captured by 1930s films such as Fisherwomen and The Man Who Has a Camera (yes, director Liu Na’ou pays tribute to Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov in the title). A gem among the avant-garde films of the 1960s, Chiu Kang-Chien’s Alienation was believed to be lost until recently and was only discovered 52 years after its making. The film reflects the period of the rule of the Republic of China which seceded from the mainland People’s Republic of China.

The modern democratization era, which started in the 1990s, is represented by Taiwanese video art pioneer Yuan Goang-Ming. In his films like The Strangers and Everyday Maneuver, he creates symbolic metaphors using state-of-the art technologies such as drones and high-speed cameras. A complex image of Taiwan must include a look into the human soul. Using animation, documentary and live action, Papa Blue looks under the surface of the difficult relationship between a daughter and her father suffering from depression.

The Festival Focus is brought to you in collaboration with Taiwan Docs and Taiwan International Documentary Festival.

Selected films

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