A First Glimpse on the 2009 Taiwan Documentary Film Festival

Posted on Feb, 09 2009

The 2009 Taiwan Documentary Film Festival will be held on May 15/16. This year, filmmaker Ho Chao-Ti 賀照緹 is the Festival's special guest. Among other, the following films will be presented and discussed:

The Gangster's God 炸神明

Master Han Dan (寒單爺) is believed to be the embodiment of the wealth god. In Hualian and Taitung Counties(花蓮和台東縣), a man or a child will play the role of Master Han Dan on the Lantern Festival. Being bare to the waist, wearing a short red pants and holding banyan branches in the hand, Master Han Dan will stand on a small holy carriage carried by four men in a parade for the crowd to throw firecrackers at him to pray for wealth.(source: National Center for Traditional Art)

The legend has it that Master Han Dan is a military god of wealth, and throwing firecrackers can drive the cold away from his body; the more firecrackers one sets off, the more successful and wealthy he will become. The 「Bombing of Master Han Dan」 has now become an important traditional festival in Taitung. (source: expatintaipei.com)

El Salvador Journal 薩爾瓦多日記

Background material:
State, Civil Society and Transnational Class Politics in the Age of Globalization: A Case Study of Taiwan's Solidarity with Central American Labor Struggles. 陳信行 Chen Hsin-Hsing. Taiwan: A Radical Quarterly in Social Studies vol.60 p. 35-110. (source: Chen Hsin-Hsing's blog)

Culture Shock Strikes Again
I had one of my more disturbing moments of culture shock this morning while stepping into the back patio to use the toilet. One of the rabbits the family is breeding died last night, apparently of natural causes, and its corpse was lying outside the door to greet me. What really got to me, though, was that the family's cat had taken advantage of the rabbit's death for a little late-night snack last night, leaving a gaping, bleeding hole in the side of the body. I really freaked out. And then, the family started laughing at me, and someone said, "Hey, that's nothing. You should have been here during the war. There were people like that all shot up by the side of the road all the time." I finally regained my composure and ability to walk through the doorway when one of them put a page of a newspaper over the body, but nothing in the world could cover up the comment about the war from my naïve foreign mind. I am still such a foreigner in this country. (source: Matt Corks' blog)

County Road 184 縣道184之東

"County Road 184" is Taiwan's first protest music documentary. It tells the story of the music band "交工樂隊", who were against  the building of the Meinung reservoir. In 2000, President Chen Shui-Bian declared a moratorium on the construction of the Meinung reservoir (美濃水庫). The band begin to pay attention to hand over a completed project peasant and rural issues, has also become increasingly sophisticated forms of music.

Taiwan News: 又逢枯水期 美濃水庫興建爭議再起
published at 2009-02-01 12:37 PM

We may also commend Ho's blog. Here you are!