Originally scheduled to take place in physical form for the very first time this year, the Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh has reconfigured itself as an online event showcasing a host of underseen classics from throughout the island’s cinematic history.
Taiwanese Hokkien-Language Cinema
The Husband’s Secret (1960), dir. Lin Tuan-Chiu
A happily married woman tries to help a school friend who has fallen on hard times after becoming a single mother, but the situation is complicated when it turns out the father of her friend’s baby is actually her husband…
Six Suspects (1965), dir. Lin Tuan-Chiu
Stylishly shot noirish pro-police crime movie in which a blackmailer is offed leaving a series of suspects all annoyed by him because of his capacity to expose their dodgy dealings in the increasingly amoral post-war economy. Review.
The Bride Who Has Returned From Hell (1965), dir. Hsin Chi
Gothic mystery based on Mistress of Mellyn in which an entrepreneur believes that his wife has drowned after trying to elope with another man whose body was found after a boating accident along with a woman’s purse while she remains absent…
A Borrowed Hong Kong, the Imagined China in Taiwan, and Trans-regional Cinema
A City Called Dragon (1970), dir. Tu Chun-Hsun
Sumptuous Taiwanese wuxia starring A Touch of Zen’s Hsu Feng as a revolutionary who ventures to the capital to meet up with a comrade and retrieve a secret map, only she later learns that he along with his whole family has already been executed…
Four Moods (1970), dir. Li Han-Hsiang, Pai Ching-Jui, Li Hsing, King Hu
Four-part portmanteau movie featuring folklore-themed contributions from Li Han-Hsiang, Pai Ching-Jui, Li Hsing, and King Hu.
Where the Seagull Flies (1974), dir. Li Hsing
A Taiwanese journalist encounters three identical young women but they each disappear right after he falls in love with them. In Hong Kong she is a woman attempting suicide after killing her husband, in Singapore a Filipina bar hostess, and in Taipei his younger sister’s uni friend. After discovering her identity and that she likes to play tricks on men, he plots his revenge…
Cheerful Wind (1981), dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Early idol drama from Hou Hsiao-Hsien starring Fong Feifei as an independent young woman working in advertising who falls for Kenny Bee’s blind musician. Review.
Taiwan New Cinema and Its Legacy
The Sandwich Man (1983), dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tseng Chuang-Hsiang, Wan Jen
Tripartite portmanteau film inspired by the short stories of Huang Chun-Ming and exploring the changes in Cold War Taiwanese society. Features contributions by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tseng Chuang-Hsiang, and Wan Jen.
Kuei-Mei, a Woman (1985), dir. Chang Yi
Melodrama inspired by the Xiao-Sa novel in which the heroine, Kuei-Mei escapes the Mainland for Taiwan to live with her cousin but is married off to a widowed Chinese refugee who already has three children and a massive gambling addiction leaving her with no choice other than to seek a better life in Japan.
When Love Comes (2010), dir. Chang Tso-Chi
A young woman living with her two mothers, father, uncle, and grandfather comes to understand more about her family when she is abandoned by her boyfriend after becoming pregnant.
God Man Dog (2007), dir. Chen Singing
A hand model suffering from post-natal depression, a bereaved indigenous couple, their daughter in the city, and a one-legged man driving a giant Buddha bus, are brought together by a stray dog. Review.
Midi Z Selection
Jade Miners (2015), dir. Midi Z
Midi Z’s first documentary focusses on the jade miners continuing to work against the back drop of the continuing conflict with the Kachin Independence Organization which had brought the industry to a halt.
Ice Poison (2014), dir. Midi Z
When economic forces render his farm unviable, an old man sells his cow to buy a motorcycle for his son so he can make money taking people into town but he ends up becoming involved in drug trafficking to help a woman trying to bring her child back to Myanmar after being tricked into marriage in China.
The Palace on the Sea (2014), dir. Midi Z
Experimental short in which a Buddhist monk tries to free the ghost of a woman from a floating restaurant.
Docs: Exploring Diversity in Pursuing the Taiwanese Identity
How Deep is the Ocean (2000), dir. Tang Hsiang-Chu
Documentary following a young man from the Tao indigenous minority who returns home to Orchid island after pursuing a better life on the Mainland.
Out/Marriage (2012), dir. Nguyen Kim-Hong
Documentary following a Vietnamese woman who came to Taiwan to marry but endured years of domestic abuse before escaping and becoming a single-mother to her son.
The Mountain (2015), dir. Su Hung-En
Documentary following the director’s grandfather, Teymu Teylong, a hunter from an indigenous community.
The Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh will take place online from 18th to 27th September with all films streaming for free! Full details are available via the official website and you can also keep up with the festival via the official Facebook Page and Twitter account.