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Taiwan Documentaries Conference

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Center for Asian and
Pacific Studies Present

Documenting Taiwan on Film:
Methods and Issues in New Documentaries

Workshop and Film Screenings

July 6 – 8, 2009
University of Oregon

These events are free and open to the public. For more info, please call 346-1521.

Day One: Monday, July 6, 2009

Session I:

Daw-ming Lee, “History in the Remaking: The Making of Taiwan – A People’s History.” (Graduate Institute of Filmmaking, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan)

10:15-10:30 – Coffee break

Sylvia Li-chun Lin, “Recreating the White Terror on Screen” (University of Notre Dame)

Session II:

Kuei-fen Chiu, “Media Technologies and the Making of the Human Subject in Contemporary Taiwanese Documentary Films” (Chung-hsing University, Taiwan)

Bert Scruggs, “Longing for Authenticity and the Question of Indigenization: Exploring Yan Lanquan and Zhuang Yiceng’s Wu mi le (Let it Be)” (University of California, Irvine)

15:30-15:45 – Coffee break

Hsiu-Chuang Deppman, “The Politics of Seeing in Jump, Boys!” (Oberlin College, USA)

Film Screenings; Q & A with Director Mayaw Biho (Willamette Hall, Room 110)
“Children in Heaven” (14 min.)
“As Life, As Pacang” (26 min.)
“Carry the Paramount of Jade Mountain on My Back” (46 min.)

Day Two: Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Session III:

Christopher Lupke, “Documenting Political Dissent: The Gongliao Fourth Nuclear Reactor as Example” (Washington State University, USA)

10:15-10:30 – Coffee break

Li-hsin Kuo, “Sentimentalism and the Bent for Collective ‘Inward-looking’: A Preliminary Analysis of Mainstream Taiwanese Documentary” (National Chengchi University, Taiwan)

Session IV:

Tze-lan Deborah Sang, “Imagining Global Modernity through Taiwanese Documentary Films” (EALL, University of Oregon)

Guo-Juin Hong, “Voices and Their Discursive Dis/Content in New Taiwan Documentary” (Duke University, USA)

15:30-15:45 – Coffee break

15:45-17:00 – Roundtable Discussion
Commentator: Sharon Sherman (English, University of Oregon)

19:00-21:30 – Film screenings; Q & A with director Mayaw Biho (Willamette Hall, Room 110)
“Dear Rice Wine, You Are Defeated” (26 min.)
“National Bandit: A Beautiful Mistake” (56 min.)
Excerpts from Malakacaway (“The Rice Wine Filler,” 70 min.)

Film Summaries

Children of Heaven (1997/14 min./Betacam)
Underneath the Sanying Bridge lies a shantytown of indigenous people. Every year they are charged with violating the Water Law and forcibly removed from the houses they have built. Nevertheless, after the houses are torn down, the residents return to the same place and build their simple huts again. This process has repeated itself numerous times over the course of many years. For the residents and their children, their routine seems like “playing house.” Yet the question of indigenous people’s right of abode remains unresolved.

As Life, As Pangcah (1998/28 min./Betacam)
A calm, reflective oral history results from this intimate dialogue between a 93-year-old Pangcah tribal chieftain and an indigenous filmmaker. Through word and song, the elder recounts the ways of the Pangcah and his frustrated attempts to defend traditional culture against Taiwan’s encroaching modernity.

Carry the Paramount of Jade Mountain on My Back (2002/46 min./Betacam)
Jade Mountain is Taiwan’s highest peak. For decades, the Tungpu Bunun aborigines have been hired as guides and porters by city-dwelling mountaineers who wish to conquer Jade Mountain. This documentary records their unique contribution to mountain climbing in Taiwan.

Dear Rice Wine, You are Defeated (1998/24 min./Betacam)
In Taiwan, younger members of the Pangcah tribe question the centuries-old tradition of Pacakat – the drinking of powerful rice wine to mark the advancement in rank in their community. While the observance of Pacakat can be dangerous, it also celebrates Pangcah tribal identity.

National Bandits: A Beautiful Mistake (2000/56 min./Betacam)
The elderly Bununs of Tung-Pu have habitually referred to workers at the Vu Mountain National Park as “national bandits” instead of “national park employees.” In the eyes of these old Bununs, the designation of this land as national park has robbed them of most of their ancestral territories, leaving only a very small portion for them to live and farm on. In April 1999, the Ministry of Interior began plans for another National Park called Nun-Dan. This time, the people of multiple tribes refused to be silent.

Malakacaway–The Rice Wine Filler (2009/70min.) The Pangcah people live along the east coast of Taiwan facing the Pacific Ocean. Some Pangcah tribes have been able to keep their traditional culture and ways of living, the most famous example being the Makutaay Tribe. They hold Ilisin (Annual Ceremony) the traditional way every year. The most challenging job belongs to a group of men called “Malakacaway,” who are responsible for fundraising, rice-collecting, accounting, and most importantly and painfully, Patakit (toasting everyone with rice wine over and over again during the five-day ceremony). This is how the Makutaay tribe trains its youngsters to become mature members of the tribe.