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Understanding Taiwan through Wan Jen's films

  • Date:2014-07-21
Understanding Taiwan through Wan Jen's films

Movie director Wan Jen (萬仁), one of the leading filmmakers of Taiwan's New Wave of Cinema era, will travel to the United Kingdom to join two special screenings of his films — the director's cut versions of "Super Citizen Ko” (1995) and "Puppet Angel” (2001) — at the University of London from July 28 to 30.

"Super Citizen Ko” (超級大國民) takes place against the backdrop of Taiwan's White Terror era, a challenging period of martial law aimed at weeding out Communist spies from the 1950s to the 1980s. The story is told in a retrospective manner by the titular Mr. Ko, a leftist sympathizer who spent 16 years in jail racked with guilt over selling out his best friend Mr. Chen. The truths begin to unravel upon his release as he seeks to make amends to his late friend as well as with his sole surviving daughter.

"Puppet Angel” (傀儡天使) is a political drama told from the perspective of Chen Ping, a rookie journalist who stumbles upon a compromising photo of popular politician Huang Ming-yeh with a mysterious woman. However, Chen soon finds out that the photo was planted by Huang himself, who usesthe media coverage to accuse his political opponent of slander. Caught between his desire for revenge against Huang and his attraction to Huang's alleged mistress, Chen is forced to surrender his naïve view of the world.

The public screening of "Super Citizen Ko” will take place on the eve of July 28, while "Puppet Angel” will be shown on July 30; both events will also be followed by a Q&A session with director Wan.

In addition to the two showings, University of London's Dr. Sylvia Lin will lead a discussion titled "Accountability and Redemption: Cinematic Representation of Atrocity in Taiwan” on July 29, while a special 11-minute trailer of "It Takes Two to Tango” (車拼), Wan's latest production exploring cross-Taiwan Strait romance, will also be shown on July 30.

The screenings are part of the "Understanding Taiwan through Films and Documentaries” series, which are co-organized by the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the Ministry of Culture under the auspices of the Spotlight Taiwan initiative.

‘Understanding Taiwan through Wan Jen's Films'

  • Dates:
    • 7/28 - ‘Super Citizen Ko' screening
    • 7/29 - ‘Cinematic Representation of Atrocity in Taiwan' forum
    • 7/30 - ‘Puppet Angel' & ‘It Takes Two to Tango'
  • Venue: Room KLT, Russell Square, SOAS University of London
  • Address: Thornhaugh Street,Russell Square,LondonWC1H 0XG
  • Website: