The opening week of the 2019 Taiwan Film Festival Berlin will kick off on May 5 with the screening of puppetry documentary "Father (紅盒子)" and live performances by the maestro himself — Chen Hsi-huang (陳錫煌).
Chen is the eldest son of the iconic Taiwanese puppeteer Li Tian-lu (李天祿), whose actual life story was transformed into auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien's (侯孝賢) 1993 masterpiece "The Puppetmaster (戲夢人生)." Their last names differ, however, as Li married into the Chen clan, and his firstborn took on his mother's family name to continue that blood line.
"Father" directed by award-winning documentary maker Yang Li-chou (楊力州) discusses the complicated parent-child relationship between Li and Chen against the backdrop of Taiwan's traditional society, with an eye on how the son has tried to escape from his father's shadow. A life inseparable from his hand-made glove puppets has become a life inseparable from Li's legacy.
Director Yang and maestro Chen will hold a post-screening Q&A session in Berlin on May 5, followed by two performances of "A Chance Encounter Leads to Marriage (巧遇姻緣)" by the Chen Hsi-huang Traditional Glove Puppet Troupe on May 6 and 7 at ufaFabrik, and a final performance on May 9 at the Taipei Representative Office in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Taiwan-themed film festival will run through June 16 by showing one new movie or documentary on Sundays. The organizers have also arranged for the director of that week’s featured film to hold a post-screening Q&A session via video chat. Attendants will be able to discuss their questions directly with the film's maker and a translator will be on site to facilitate the exchanges in English.
Apart from "Father," the six-film lineup also includes baseball saga "KANO" on May 12, coming-of-age film "Lokah Laqi (只要我長大)" on May 19, queer-themed drama "Alifu, The Prince/ss (阿莉芙)" on May 26, nature documentary "Black Bear Forest (黑熊森林)" on June 2, and noir comedy "The Great Buddha+ (大佛普拉斯)" on June 16.
Ticketing information and more can be found at http://impressionxtaiwan.de/en/.