Under the regime of constant discipline and incorporation, rituals, faiths, bodies, and the relations between men and gods are all being uprooted. When time is dissected into infinitesimal parts in the gaze of a stopped frame, those links abandoned in the furious chase emerge again. Men and gods, destruction and rebirth, all gather here in search of a safe corner.
This film depicts the fraught marriage between a Taiwanese man and his Vietnamese bride, taking us inside a household simmering with tension. Born out of a disabled man's wish to obey his mother and a woman's effort to help her family escape from poverty, the marriage has produced two daughters and a complicated family drama.
In the Dabao River basin, where the Llyong Topa indigenous community used to be, stands a 'ghost temple” where hundreds of Atayal people were buried. They fell victims to Japanese government's first wave of indigenous genocide during its colonial rule of Taiwan. The massacre occurred much earlier than the Wushe Incident (1930), yet still rarely known to the world. The filmmaker visited the mountains over a hundred times, seeking clues and traces to fill in the blanks of history.
Jerry, a 73-year-old world traveller from Britain, has settled in a rural community in Linyuan, Kaohsiung fifteen years ago. He only speaks of his past, because he cannot see much future for himself. His present centres around feeding the twenty-plus stray cats in his neighbourhood. Although Jerry has no savings, sometimes needing help with buying food for his cats, he has found peace and serenity in his life in Taiwan.
On a rainy afternoon, the filmmaker set out from a hospital and followed an elderly window screen repairman to Toad Hill, an old settlement on the outskirts of Taipei, helping him to find a woman from his past. On the dreamlike journey, the repairman discovered his long-forgotten and decayed memories of this metropoli
Two teenage girls, both growing up in broken homes in rural Taiwan, lead their lives in completely different directions. Pei searches for hope in love, while Chen struggles to avoid her parents' fate. As they approach the age of 18, the undercurrents of their lives nearly overwhelm them. Spanning over seven years, this is a story about abandonment, courage, and growth. It raises a universal question: How can an unloved life find the strength of her own?
Gubuk (Hut) is an experimental project growing out of Indonesian migrant workers' personal experiences in Taiwan. Gathering in a staged hut built out of abandoned materials from a factory, the workers retell and re-enact their own stories under fabricated identities. In this space where fiction intersects with reality, they share tales of escape, of loss, and of suffering.
This documentary tells two different stories featuring ventilator-dependent patients in Taiwan and the people around them. Along with nearly 4,000 such cases on our island, these bedridden and mostly unconscious individuals are unable to communicate with the outside world, except through their ECG waves. Facing the dilemma of futile medical care, and the rights to live and die as one chooses, everyone has to make their own decision: Should they stay on or move on?
Mr. LIN is a happily retired man who spends his time keeping company with his toddling grandson, walking his dog, and playing golf with his in-laws. Recently, he has been obsessed with houses with river views. In LIN's city of demolitions and reconstructions, money-making investors buy and sell houses at unaffordable prices. Above the skyline of Taipei, will the boundaries between daydreams and reality ever blur?
In the Tibetan village of Xiongtuo, Sichuan Province, China, resides the 'Boiling Water Lama'. Every day, countless people from the major Tibetan regions travel across mountains to visit him, seeking solutions for their own lives. When the water on the stove comes to a full rolling boil, the believers waiting outside the hut takes off their shirts one by one, ready to hear the lama's unique 'answer'.
With shot footage as their witness, Taiwanese filmmakers are slowly gaining their ground in the realm of documentary, both the veteran and the up-and-coming. In the 192 entries this year, they cast light on the faces and places of this island and of the world. With the 15 selected titles, come ride on the flow of trance with us, gaze into the strangeness in familiarity, navigate through open and healing wounds, and immerse yourself in the boiling feelings of turning eighteen.