The Taipei Cultural Center in Paris will screen twelve Taiwan-centric films that are imbued with Japanese elements at the Japanese Culture House of Paris from Sept. 22 through Oct. 21.
In collaboration with the Taiwan Film Institute, the screenings will showcase documentaries, features, and historical imagery to present the influence of Japanese culture and figures in films on Taiwan.
The screenings will include "Marching South to Taiwan (南進臺灣),” a documentary made in 1940 by the Japanese government about its achievements in colonizing Taiwan. The film - which introduces Taiwan's landscapes, cultures, manufacturing, and infrastructure - served a political purpose before the launch of the Pacific War.
"Hill of No Return (無言的山丘)” by director Wang Toon (王童) is an iconic feature film that incorporates Taiwan's contemporary history to illustrate Taiwanese life under Japanese rule. It is the third installment of Wang's "Contemporary Taiwan” trilogy.
"The Strawman (稻草人),” which is the first part of the "Contemporary Taiwan” trilogy, will also be screened to present the lives and sorrow of Taiwanese farmers during the Japanese colonial period through an absurdist storyline.
"The City of Sadness (悲情城市),” the seminal 1989 film by Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢), illustrates the impact of regime changes on Taiwan when the Nationalist government recovered Taiwan from Japan and reflects upon the historical impact of the February 28 Incident.
"Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (賽德克·巴萊)” is a 2011 drama film by filmmaker Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖). The two-part epic tells how Mona Rudao (莫那魯道) led the Seediq tribe to revolt against Japanese authorities and the plight of the oppressed aborigines of Taiwan in the 1930s.
"Viva Tonal, the Dance Age (跳舞時代)” by directors Chien Wei-ssu (簡偉斯) and Kuo Chen-ti (郭珍弟) is a documentary that tracks the development of Taiwan's pop music from the Japanese colonial era to 1945.
The documentary tells the story of how artists including Chen Chun-yu (陳君玉), Sun-sun (純純), and Columbia Records founder Kashiwano Seijiro (柏野正次郎) were dedicated to making and promoting Taiwanese-language music during the 1930s.
Additional forums will be held following each film screening to explore the interrelations between Taiwan and Japan.
‘Presence of Japan in Taiwanese Cinema'