“In 2001, I used my camera to document the experiences of two friends of mine. As I looked through the lens, I realized that their life had benn slipping away, entering isolation and alienation, and we couldn’t do anything about it.” Two idle teenagers. How do they live their lives? Making phone calls, fixing bikes, listening to music and what else? As an objective observer, the film uses simple language to document slices of the two teenagers’ lives. The teenagers’ world is wild, glorious and totally bizarre…
In the fifties, many Taiwanese intellectuals, workers and farmers were suspected of being communist spies by the dictatorial authority. They were either jailed or killed. Hsu Chin-yu was one of them. She was an adopted child, became a worker at the age of 14 and went to work in Taipei post office when she was 24. She participated in a study group. This experience opened her mind and freed her thoughts. She went on to join the workers’ movement and, as a result, she was jailed for 15 years. It changed her life irrecovably.
Genial is a stray dog, but he doesn’t live up to his name. Having been a stray for so many years, Genial is not the habit of trusting human beings. On January 12 1996 the Panchiao pound in Taipei County didn’t have enough food to feed the animals and the dog-eat-dog tragedy erupted. Since then, the two volunteers, Yang Chiu-Hua and Mrs. Tang, come to the pound every two or three days to take care of the hundreds of stray dogs. The documentary starts here, but the never-ending search for the meaning of life continues…
Taiwanese Spiderman are not Hollywood movie stars. They are construction workers who spend their lives on the Southern Cross-island Highway. Most of them are Atayal people from Hualian. With their natural gifts, they use simple equipment to shimmy up and down the cliff-face to strengthen the mountain where mudslides are prone to occur. They are far away from home, working till their backs break during the day, drinking and sleeping after work. The pay don’t match the risk factor of their work. Taiwanese spiderman risk their lives for meager pay.
Photography Book of 921 Earthquake - Reconstructing Experience from Shuang-Chi Tribe
Through the lens, we see a group of Atayal people living through the aftermath of September 21 earthquake. Their homes have vanished and important roads that access the outside world have been buried. Under the leadership of Walis and A-Wu, the MIHU team was formed. Its goal is to gather rebuilding fund for the MIHU temporary housing project. In this ideal commune, the people work together and live together. They try to rebuild their homeland on their own, returning to a traditional tribal culture. However, the economic situation in the area worsen day after day.
Thirty years ago, Taiwan experienced it’s critical transformation from an agricultural society to an industrial nation. To develop the electronic industry, 40 young elites were sent to RCA for training. At the same time, twenty thousand young women laborers were hired as laborers to work at the RCA TV factories. Thirty years later, the elites who participated in the RCA projects have become the new business leaders in semi-conductor companies such as TSMC and UMC.
The son, Y.C., like many men nowadays, is an ordinary businessman. He didn’t know much about his father’s life outside the family - nor did he have an interest in it. The father, K.T., lived till the age of 92. He was a famous public servant. He didn’t spend much time at home and, even when he was at home, he didn’t share much of his outside life. His lifetime wish was to see his country become a success. After fifty years as a public servant, he was given the title as the Godfather of Taiwan’s economic and technology success.
The “it” in “Love It More Than I Can Say” refers to toxic material. The film documents the story of the treatment of toxic waste illegally dumped on one of Taiwan Sugar Corporation’s properties. The filmmaker was denied permission to film on site and no one dared testify on camera. Each day the workers risk their life. How ironic that Taiwan Sugar called it “nothing important to talk about”.
At the foot of a mountain, there is a one-hundred-year-old house. Four women decide to start up a family there. In their capable hands, they build a home for women in this once deserted house. Seven years ago, Hsing Fen and Yen Chun opened a teahouse in Gueishan town, Taoyuan County. Two years later, Hsiao Mao joined the group and established a community historical and cultural society here. Later, her sister, Ya Hui, came to help take care of the teahouse. Then the four women, closely connected with each other, decided to become a real family.
After the farewell party, Mr. Chiu’s dream will vanish before his eyes. Located in Taipei County, Li-Feng Coal Mine is the largest national mining company in Taiwan. As the government opened up the forgiven coal trade and entered the WTO, Li-Feng was unable to compete with imported cheaper coal and were forced to close down in October 1990. The 118 miners were about to lose their livelihood. “Farewell Party” documents the remaining mining days of these men. The shooting of the film lasted two years.