TIEFF 2007

Retrospect Days of White Terrors

All the discussion over the White Terrors, be it in the books or in the images, takes largely the Hans as subjective and concerns less the treatment exerted on the Taiwanese aboriginals during the period of martial law. In an era of reticence, the aboriginals also followed suit in the fear of making even the slightest mistake which would lead

Conversation of Tali and Yaki

Ptasan is the most vivid totem of the Atayal culture. After the Japanese took control of Taiwan, Ptasan was banned because it was considered a barbarian act. Now, when Ptasan is nearly unseen or unheard of, one Atayal young man, Taliana Yilou, decides to give himself Ptasan. As a young man under 30 years of age, Tali does not have

When the Village Encounters the Country

“When the Village Encounters the Country” is a representation of the suppression the aborigines faced in the country system for the past thousands of years. This is a record of the Smangus people protesting to the regime of the country. A chain reaction was caused after they made the plea, including forcing the government to recognize the traditional territory of

Dear Rice Wine, You are Defeated

Cepo, the estuary of Siouguluan River, is said to be the landing point where the Pangcah ancestor first stepped on Taiwan. The Makutaay Tribe here have maintained the traditional age system. The young generation will have an “upgrade” ritual every 4 years when the youngsters who work in the cities will return home for the special occasion. When the young

Carry the Paramount of Jade Mountain on My Back

The Bunun is a High Mountainous tribe, inhabiting in the area of the Central Mountain Range. Most Bunun aborigines are skillful mountain climbers, and are sometimes called the “sherpas” of Taiwan. They have been often hired as guides even up until today. Although back in the early days their work was considered as porterage, assisting mountaineers in carrying their heavy

Children in Heaven

The tribe living under the San-ying Bridge is charged with violation of the Water Act every year and will witness the powerful, which is rarely seen, execution of the government’s law enforcement that vacates even the shattered construction material after the demolition. On the other hand, the sand processing plant on the right side of the tribe grows bigger and

Batuque

In 1462, the first African slaves were settled on the island of Cape Verde brought by the Portuguese colony. It is supposed that they were the first inhabitants of the archipelagos. They carried with them the rhythms and the seeds of what became the Batuque: a music form, performed mostly by women, both singers and dancers. The singers repeat very

Seasons of Migration

Seasons of Migration is a dance about culture shock, and the film combines the performance with the choreographer’s and dancer’s commentary, and stories of the troubles and triumphs of Cambodians who emigrated to Long Beach, California. Sophiline Cheam Shapiro grew up in Pol Pot’s camps; as a teenager she trained as a Cambodian classical dancer, later emigrating to the United

Cabal in Kabul

This is the story of the last two Jews in Afghanistan. All the other Jews have left a long time ago. Isaac and Zabulon live alone in the abandoned synagogue…

Angry Monk – Reflections on Tibet

Angry Monk is a road-movie and a time-travel in the footsteps of the rebellious Tibetan monk Gendun Choephel (1903-51), revealing a face of old and present-day Tibet that goes against popular cliches.

Songs of Pastaay

The Pasta’ay, which means the festival of the legendary little people, is a significant ritual held every other year in the Saisiat aborigine group in Taiwan.

Pas-taai – The Saisiyat Ceremony in 1936

From late November to early December in 1936, Utsurikawa Nenozo, professor of Institute of Ethnology, Imperial Taihoku University, guided his assistant Myamoto Nobuto to the Ta-ai ceremony ground in Hsinchu’s Five Finger Mountain area to investigate the Saisiyat ceremony, Pas-taai. With cameras, they documented the lively large-scale sacred events which lasted for days. Through the precious images, the people and

Dead Birds

Dead Birds is a film about the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem high in the mountains of West Papua. When I shot the film in 1961, the Dani had a classic Neolithic culture. They were exceptional in the way they dedicated themselves to an elaborate system of ritual warfare. Neighboring groups, separated by uncultivated