週三, 30 七月 2014 00:00

山與海的對話 觀覽紀錄片《潮浪譜寫共鳴》

有人喜愛山,有人喜愛海。有人喜愛迎接挑戰,喜愛不受拘束,喜愛計畫之外的刺激感。有人喜愛山,喜愛擬訂計畫,喜愛步步落實,喜愛按部就班的成就感。這是我在一部紀錄片見到描述愛山人和愛海人的個性區別。但我想,不管愛山或是愛海的人都會喜愛這部難得的紀錄片──《潮浪譜寫共鳴:台灣與太平洋世界》(Writings that Weave Waves : East Formosans and the Pacific World)。導演張俐紫,2012年出品,由台灣太平洋學會與中華利氏學社共同製作。

根據一位攝影師考據學者的研究,越來越多的證據顯示遼闊太平洋世界南島語系的民族與語言淵源於台灣原住民。紀錄片大致呈現三個地點:第一個地點是東台灣。2012年2月,鏡頭隨著Wilang 與Takun,來到台灣宜蘭縣金雅村與武塔村泰雅部落,呈現消失中無人傳承的傳統編藤藝術與傳統織布藝術。2012年6月,影片訪問宜蘭澳花村喜愛射箭與山居的Yubax,父親是泰雅族人,母親是布農族人。第二個地點是加拿大莫朗島(Cormorant Island)。三位習慣體驗山中智慧的年輕朋友,早在2011年9月遠赴加拿大參加原住民交換活動。在加拿大莫朗島,Yubax 在火堆前的歌聲宛如天籟。第三個地點是舉辦第十一屆太平洋藝術節的台灣友邦索羅門群島(2012年7月),節慶中索羅門群島化身太平洋世界舞蹈交流與文化互動的舞台,匯集如台灣、大溪地、吉里巴斯、紐西蘭等地的原住民舞蹈。貫穿三個主要地點是格外珍貴的記憶,編織的記憶、歌唱的記憶、舞蹈的記憶相互交織如海浪,宛如海浪在沙岸用手指寫下美好的一頁。另有航海的記憶,讓人遙想地點外的畫面,是不存在於畫面的畫面,交換著太平洋世界各群島復興祖先智慧的航海經驗,並影響著來自台灣以及陸居的人們,這些段落就等觀者細細觀賞與品味。



攝影│笨篤 2012年太平洋藝術節一景。

週三, 05 十二月 2012 14:28

Mental Difference?

This month, eRenlai is focusing on the stigma surrounding mental health and mental disorders. For this purpose we've coined the term "mental difference" in the hope that this will encourage our readers to view the people around them not in terms of the binaries sick/well abnormal/normal insane/sane, but rather to approach everyone in the world with an open mind as to the way their mind functions and their personality traits, regardless of their mental health issues or lack thereof, or their deviation from our perception of the normal.

First we have two views from psychiatrists: the first gives us his view on what is normal, with an interview with Dr Wu Yuquan, the second is an interview concerning the effects of illegal and legal highs on the mind and body. Then Daniel reviews Anita and Shower, the two films cast mental disability in a more positive light. Paul Farrelly also has a film review for us, which deals with Reunion, a film about a teacher who quits to look after mentally disabled children and encounters resistance from the community, featuring two Taiwanese actors who later transitioned into careers in the spiritual world. Finally we have a short interview with Father Giuseppe Didone, he talks about his experience in Taiwan struggling to convince parents to overcome the stigma attached to mentally disabled children and get help for children in dire need of it, he also reflects on a shift in attitude from when he founded the school in the 1980s to the present day.

週日, 31 十月 2010 00:00

Next stop on the Denim Express … Struggletown

On a recent long distance train trip in China, a budding entrepreneur and proud patriot asked me if my country had any factories.

“Sure”, I said, “we’ve got a few, but not as many as China does”.


“That’s right!” he quickly retorted.


“Because of OUR factories YOU have a good lifestyle and WE have a lot of hardship!”


He expressed these views very forthrightly and had no doubt about whose favour the Chinese balance of trade was in.  Perhaps my new friend’s family had felt some strain from China’s rapid industrialisation.  After all, he was making a 15 hour train journey to return home to his young family after working in Beijing.


Last Train Home screened at the 7th Taiwan International Documentary Festival in Taichung and gave me a new perspective on my earlier encounter on the train.  The cinema was almost full and arriving late, I had to find a seat in the front row.  Seated behind me were a bunch of 10 year olds, probably attending as part of a school excursion.  To begin with they were merrily chatting away, no doubt wishing they were watching a cartoon, and oblivious to the projections of the grim cityscapes of China’s south-eastern megacities.  But it didn’t take too long for them to be drawn into the story, wide-eyed and silently absorbed by the unfolding tragedy.


Presenting the tale of the Zhang family – parents toiling in a jeans factory in Guangdong, kids raised by their grandparents in rural Sichuan – Last Train Home is a bleak look at life in modern China.  As the story develops over 6 years, we see the characters evolve against the dual backdrops of the urban and the rural: sewing machines and tiny bedrooms alternating with cornfields and crumbling and damp farmhouses.


The story is very engaging, despite some of the dialogue appearing a bit too staged.  Flashes of brutality alternate with misguided optimism, all the while dreams are torn apart and the scraps reshaped, like denim off-cuts salvaged from the factory floor and haphazardly stitched together into something new.


The cinematography is artful throughout, generating a strong sense of place. The scenes at Guangzhou train station during the Chinse New Year are particularly powerful. We see hordes of travellers stranded as the rail grid is thrown into turmoil by inclement weather, progressively getting anxious as the narrow window of time they have to return to their hometowns grows ever smaller.  The claustrophobia of the crammed station and tension of the travellers as they jostle for space is palpable.


Last Train Home is a gruelling look at the flipside of China’s year on year 10% economic growth.  The Zhang family are just some of the many millions manning the machines that drive China’s economic juggernaut.  At times harrowing, this is a film that will appeal to anyone seeking an alternative perspective on China’s economic miracle.





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