Documenting Taiwan on Film
Issues and Methods in New Documentaries
Edited by Sylvia Li-chun Lin, Tze-Lan Deborah Sang
Published March 12th 2012 by Routledge – 232 pages
To date, there is but a handful of articles on documentary films from Taiwan. This volume seeks to remedy the paucity in this area of research and conduct a systematic analysis of the genre. Each contributor to the volume investigates the various aspects of documentary by focusing on one or two specific films that document social, political and cultural changes in recent Taiwanese history. Since the lifting of martial law, documentary has witnessed a revival in Taiwan, with increasing numbers of young, independent filmmakers covering a wide range of subject matter, in contrast to fiction films, which have been in steady decline in their appeal to local, Taiwanese viewers. These documentaries capture images of Taiwan in its transformation from an agricultural island to a capitalist economy in the global market, as well as from an authoritarian system to democracy. What make these documentaries a unique subject of academic inquiry lies not only in their exploration of local Taiwanese issues but, more importantly, in the contribution they make to the field of non-fiction film studies. As the former third-world countries and Soviet bloc begin to re-examine their past and document social changes on film, the case of Taiwan will undoubtedly become a valuable source of comparison and inspiration. These Taiwanese documentaries introduce a new, Asian perspective to the wealth of Anglo-American scholarship with the potential to serve as exemplar for countries undergoing similar political and social transformations.
Documenting Taiwan on Film is essential reading for all those interested in Taiwan Studies, film studies and Asian cinema.
1. Introduction Tze-lan D. Sang and Sylvia Li-chun Lin 2. Re/Making Histories: On Historical Documentary Film and Taiwan: A People’s History Daw-Ming Lee 3. Re-Creating the White Terror on the Screen Sylvia Li-chun Lin 4. Reclaiming Taiwan’s Colonial Modernity: The Case of Viva Tonal: The Dance Age, Tze-lan D. Sang 5. Cultivating Taiwanese: Yen Lan-chuan and Juang Yi-tseng’s Let it Be (Wu Mi Le), Bert M. Scruggs 6.The Politics and Aesthetics of Seeing in Jump! Boys, Hsiu-Chuang Deppman 7. "Should I Put Down the Camera?": Ethics in Contemporary Taiwanese Documentary Films Kuei-fen Chiu 8. Documenting Environmental Protest: Taiwan’s Gongliao Fourth Nuclear Power Plant And the Cultural Politics of Dialogic Artifice Christopher Lupke 9. Sentimentalism and the Phenomenon of Collective "Inward-looking": A Critical Analysis of Mainstream Taiwanese Documentary Li-hsin Kuo
Sylvia Li-chun Lin is Associate Professor of Chinese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame, USA.
Tze-lan D. Sang is Associate Professor of Chinese at the University of Oregon, USA.