This film touches on the sensitive issues of national and ethnic identity in Taiwan. In 1965, Chen Yao-Chi directed the first objective Taiwanese documentary, Liu Pi-Chia. The main character, Liu Pi-Chia, was press-ganged into the Nationalist army in the 1940s in China, and came over to Taiwan with President Chiang Kai-Shek. After several decades, we unexpectedly met Liu in a village on the banks of the Mukua River. This new immigrant village consists of mainland veterans whose wives are from different ethnic groups, mostly Aborigines. Stones, the most important symbols of this film, link Liu Pi-Chia’s generation, who worked hard on the stony riverbed to reclaim land, and the new generation represented by Liu Pi-Chia’s son, whose hobby is collecting rose stones for artistic and economic purposes.
Hu Tai-Li is currently a research fellow and documentary filmmaker at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica in Taiwan; a concurrent professor at National Chin-Hua University, and the president of Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival. After graduating from the History Department of the National Taiwan University, she entered the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, and obtained her Ph.D. degree in anthropology. She has directed and produced eight documentary films (The Return of Gods and Ancestors, Songs of Pasta’ay, Voices of Orchid Island, Passing Through My Mother-in-law’s Village, Sounds of Love and Sorrow, Encountering Jean Rouch, Stone Dream, After Passing, and Returning Souls).