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The film is about a boat ceremony that took place in Tainan County twenty years ago. Wang-Yew is a god that drives away pestilence, and keeps the peace. Villagers build a boat to guild the god into their village for the ceremony, and then parade the boat around the village. It is then placed in a field or on the coast and burned, to signify that all diseases have been driven away.
As a great number of foreign laborers and new immigrants have flowed into Taiwan, they lead a pervading phenomenon with both economic and social impacts. As for themselves, living aboard and easily being exploited by the employers bring a state of depression and isolation.
In June, 1993 , the gravestone of Hsu Ching-Lan was finally found in Liuchangli by his brother after 40 years of searching. Hsu was killed by the KMT during the 'White Terror,' the organized suppression of leftist activities in Taiwan in the 1950s.
Two female beauticians(Liu Su-Ying and Liu Kui-Lan) who work in the Taipei No.1 and No.2 Public Funeral Homes are the center of this film. They slowly tell their work experiences, how they deal with their jobs, what their profession is like, and how they face their own inevitable deaths. Their narratives reveal their self-awareness and confidence in an admittedly unusual environment.
The entire world was thrown into war in the 1940s. Taiwan, still a Japanese possession, was swept into the war when Japan started the War of the Pacific. Hundreds of thousands of youth from Taiwan were conscripted into the army, and sent to the South Pacific. The cruel experiences of war are unforgetable in all their life.
In June 1992, the Chia-Lung Clothing Factory in Ban-Chiao announced it was relocating to Indonesia just as a union formed in the factory. 130 women lost their jobs after giving decades of their hard work to the factory, without reasonable severance pay. The employees explored all the legal channels with no result.Treated unfairly, the women took to the streets for justice.
Rapid industrial development has devastated Taiwan's natural environment, and deposited large amounts of pollutants. By looking at several incidents, the film tries to understand the stance of groups that oppose environmental movement in general.
When he was just 16,Wu Kuo-Huang, an albino, was mistaken for a ghost on his way to his dormitory from work. The company he worked for forced him to quit, and he couldn't find work elsewhere. Wu Kuo-Huang persisted, and eventually got a job as a masseur. He later met Miss Hsiao who took a liking to him. They married and had children. The story centers around Wu Kuo-Huang and his friends, who also have no skin pigmentation, and the trials of their lives.
The Song of the Pasta'ay is an important ritual for the Saisiat people. This film documents the 10-year festival of the Northern Saisiat people that took place in 1986 in Hsinchu County. The film shows the preparations for, and the ceremony itself, revealing the feelings and beliefs of the participants. The film also shows how the Saisiat people face the contradictions from tourism, as well as the tensions between tradition and modernity.
The old Chen House, built in the Ching Dynasty, rests in Hsiu-shui Township in Changhua County. The achievements of the Chen family over time were transformed into the impressive vaulting roof and the structure of the house. The traditional Chinese architeture and ingenious design of the house have made it famous. Time, and the shift from an agricultural to industrial society, however, have taken their toll on the house.
About the Island-Taiwan Documentary Retrospective
A Taiwanese Teikoku Kunjin
Oil-Coated Umbrella : Meinung
Professor Chu's Summer Work-The struggle of Women Workers at Ban-Chiao Clothing Factory
Nan-Kuang TENG, Na-Ou LIU
Taiwan Images Under Imperial Japan