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Review: Dialogue Among Tribes

Brian Hioe Editor at New Bloom, where this review first appeared. The documentary “Dialogue Among Tribes” provides a look at the lives of Taiwanese indigenous laborers. Composed of vignettes drawn from a series of indigenous men that grew up after the KMT came to Taiwan, including the father of director Pan Zhi-Wei, the fishermen Du-Ya, the documentary does…

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Review: Path of Destiny

Brian Hioe Editor at New Bloom, where this review first appeared. Yang Chun-Kai’s “Path of Destiny” (不得不上路) would be a deft evocation of the challenges facing preservation of indigenous tradition in Taiwan. Namely, even in those rare cases in which young people actively aim to participate in traditions which may soon be lost, the trend may…

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On Places of Public Dreaming: Claire Simon’s The Woods Dreams are Made of

In his 1983 novel Crystal Boys 《孽子》Pai Hsien-Yong 白先勇 described Taipei’s New Park as “our hidden kingdom in darkness” 「我們黑暗王國」— at night, with the gates shut, this real space behind walls somehow became a fantasy land of imagined freedoms that could not be entertained, let alone realized, in daylight. Claire Simon’s The Woods Dreams…

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Review: The Third Shore

Dr. Teri J. Silvio Institute of Ethnology Academia Sinica “When I’m here, I miss there; when I’m there I miss here.” The Third Shore is a fascinating film in which the relationships among culture, history, and personal identity are explored. Concrete objects take on layers of significance, and the answer to each question reveals a deeper mystery. It deals…

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Review: Faber Navalis

Gabriele de Seta Faber Navalis is a movie about the embodied craftiness of boat-making. In the mobile camera-eye of Maurizio Borriello, the film-maker is also the faber navalis or ‘maker of ships’, at the same time director and directed, both silent artisan and self-aware documentarist. Condensed in thirty minutes of carefully spliced shots and intimate sounds is a compressed timeline…