Wuhaliton: ears of the Moon

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According to Bunun legend, there were once two suns in the sky. The heat was intense, so the people shot down one of the suns. The wounded sun became the moon and fell into the mountains. Because of the pain, it pressed into the earth and created a gully into which its tears flowed.

As a child, Anu Takilulun was told this story by his father. When his father died, he realized that nobody else knew the place were the tears of the moon collected, and that people who had searched had always come back empty handed. In “Tears of the Moon,” Anu follows the directions given by his father to search out the place called Wuhaliton. Whether he actually succeeds is secondary to the journey of discovery in which myth and reality blend.

County Road 184

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This film is Taiwan’s first documentary on music contention, recording the members of the “Labor Exchange Band,” returning from the city to Meinung countryside making music. They start caring about peasant and farm village issues after the reservoir debate had declined; their music is also more matured.

Taiwan’s farm youths now are in an embarrassing situation: those to the city for better future miss home; those who came back after the bubble economy went down are being urged away by the elders. These farm youths had to go to south-east Asia for “foreign brides” because of their funny social status. In the film, the foreign brides talk about their feelings of coming to Taiwan; and their album recording process in cooperation with the band members.

Through the musicians, the camera goes into the life of the band in their Meinung hometown, showed them offstage, and the recording process in the deserted tobacco building. How can these five totally different top musicians gather along and play the music? How do they interact? All these images are captured in this film.

Coming and Going, Island of Tachen

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More than a hundred years ago, ancestors of the Tachen people came from coastal region of Zhejiang County to Tachen Island, after the yellow croakers.
More than forty years ago, because of the confrontation between the KMT and the communist, they came to Taiwan and become anti-communist heroes.
Thirty years ago, for the need to have better living, they stowed away to America and became chefs. And now in this new century, where is the next dream land for the adventurous Tachen people?

After the cross strait opening, the Tachens traveling back home found everything changed on the island, even their ancestors’ graves had been hollowed out. The root-finding dream has foamed into bubbles. For their second generation living in the US, identity becomes an issue. In the US, they’ve been considered to be Chinese; in China, Taiwanese; in Taiwan, those of other provinces. Tachens’ pain of not being recognized can only be swallowed in. To give their descendants a better living, they have to continue their painful odyssey.

Mountain Keepers – Song of Chung Giao Keng

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A greenish hakka small village, Chung Giao Keng is at the north-west side of Tai-lake tribe in Miaoli County. Villagers still hold the traditional way of living, mostly engage in farming. Due to the decline of the traditional economic living, villagers are moving out from this beautiful mountain village. A decade ago, there were still more than a hundred families living in Chung Giao Keng, but now, only no more than some twenty or so, mostly the aged.

But for those who stayed, they still practice the hakka virtue of diligence and frugality. The film records the elder’s lives in the village and their connection with the land. They talked about their thoughts for marriage, their near century life experiences; sang native songs in the bamboo grove and having a living philosophy of their own. These hakka elders leisurely spread the mountain spirit.

Shattered Dreams

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There are more than 150,000 migrant workers from Thailand legally hired in Taiwan. To these migrant workers, working abroad in Taiwan is a risky gamble. If things go well, they can pay back large amounts of brokerage fees and earn some money to support their families.

The three Thai workers from northeastern Thailand in this film, however, weren’t so lucky. The electronic factory where they had been working was suddenly closed down. The owner of the factory simply said that he could not afford to pay the salaries of the 100 domestic workers and 100 migrant workers. After fighting futilely for their rights with other migrant and domestic workers, the Thai workers were eventually deported. Their dreams of paying back their debt or earning money to support their families were totally shattered. Would they give up their hopes in earning money from working abroad because of their bad experiences in Taiwan? This film offers an unexpected answer to this question.