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2021 Taiwan Bunun Indigenous Music & Film Festival kicks off in Michigan

  • Date:2021-10-13~2021-10-27
2021 Taiwan Bunun Indigenous Music & Film Festival kicks off in Michigan

To share and celebrate the unique music and culture of Taiwanese indigenous people, the 2021 Taiwan Bunun Indigenous Music and Film Festival will take place from Oct. 13 through 27, boasting a variety of in person and virtual programs in Michigan and across the U.S.

The festival will kick off with a 60-minute online musical titled "Listen to Bunun (聆聽布農)," performed by the National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan and Bunun tribal members. The Bunun tribe is the fourth largest of Taiwan's indigenous groups. Like other indigenous groups around the world, the Bunun's music plays an essential role in their daily lives.

During the festival, several panels and lectures will be available online for those who would like to learn more about the Bunun’s music and culture.

Three films, including two documentaries "Sing it (唱歌吧!)" and "Sing it+ (不只唱歌吧!)" and one feature "Listen Before You Sing(聽見歌 再唱)," all directed by Chih-Lin Yang (楊智麟), will also be played in different venues in Michigan.

"Sing it" and "Sing it+" document the inspiring journey of a group of Bunun kids who found their passion through singing. "Listen Before You Sing" is an adaption of the two documentaries, centering on a school which caters almost exclusively to a dwindling indigenous Bunun community and faces threat of closure. Eventually, it enters a singing contest to avoid being shut down.

As one of the "Spotlight Taiwan" projects supported by Ministry of Culture, the festival is organized by the Michigan Taiwanese American Organization (MiTAI), in collaboration with the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL), the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum (DIA), Oakland University Taiwan Week (OU), and the University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint), as well as the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments and the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies (LRCCS) at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.