The Taiwan Film Festival showcases the most representative works of Taiwanese cinema from the 1960s up until the present. As it has proved impossible to organise physical screenings during the global pandemic, the Festival uses the opportunity to share these twenty titles online with audiences in Edinburgh and wider UK.
This ambitious selection reflects the dramatic changes in Taiwan since the end of the Second World War while showcasing the strong cultural connections between Taiwan and its neighbouring countries such as China, Japan, America, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Festival presents seven strands, each of which represent a pivotal moment of cinema development in Taiwan and also echoes the current trend of cinema curation.
The programme starts with Taiwanese Hokkien-Language Films & the Genres which selects three commercial films that were overlooked at the time of their production and later received the public attention following the democratisation in the 90s. The second strand, A Borrowed Hong Kong, the Imagined China in Taiwan, and Trans-regional Cinema illustrates trans-regional collaborations between Taiwan and the so-called right-wing filmmakers in British Hong Kong. As filmmakers of these two regions, originally from Mainland China lost their homeland after the Civil War, they created a new image of China in their adopted countries.
Melodrama Divas contains two films, the first of which gives an example of the increasing influence of Taiwan in the Mandarin popular culture while the second highlights the emergence of a national Taiwanese consciousness in the early 80s.
This consciousness, blossoming in the 80s, inspired the birth of the Taiwanese New Wave, a cinema movement greatly indebted to the Italian Neorealism and French New Wave. With its commitment to realistic and sympathetic portrayals of Taiwanese life, the Taiwanese New Wave chronicles the socio-economic and political transformation in the last decade of the Cold War.
The commitment of this movement is inherited by documentary and short filmmakers in the following decades which is highlighted in Docs: Exploring Diversity in Pursuing the Taiwanese Identity and Shorts: The unusual usual strands respectively.
In the meantime, the cultural influence of immigrants from Southeastern Asia has been growing in strength and prominence in Taiwanese cinema. The Festival highlights this movement by choosing to focus on the works of Midi Z, Myanmar-born director whose both beautifully crafted and hard-hitting films gained him following all over the world.
More information on: www.taiwanfilmfestival.org.uk #TaiwanFFE