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“Focus on Taiwan”: Large retrospective at Kosovo DokuFest 2018 shares issues of nationhood and identity

The 17th DokuFest, to be held from 3 - 11 August 2018 in Prizren in Kosovo, will feature a large retrospective of 23 Taiwanese films that will introduce Taiwan’s social and political issues to Kosovan audiences. It is also the first time that an Asian country is presented at the Kosovo DokuFest.

Wood Lin, director of the Taiwan International Documentary Festival, was invited to curate the programme. “Birth of a Nation: Focus on Taiwan@DokuFest” is a show of Taiwanese filmmaking that spans a period of almost a hundred years of Taiwan history, from the Japanese colonial period to the student-led sunflower movement in 2014. It includes films by internationally acclaimed masters of the Taiwan cinema, as well as recent works by up-and-coming young directors, and covers all genres, from documentary, experimental video, to fiction. The programme’s provocative title reflects the Kosovo DokuFest’s mission to encourage discussions on national independence, sovereignty, human rights, and social movements, and responds to the overall theme “Reflection” of the 2018 festival. As questions of nationhood and international recognition are crucial issues in both countries, films on Taiwan’s recent history and political developments are expected to be of great interest for Kosovan festivalgoers.

“Birth of a Nation: Focus on Taiwan” introduces the Kosovo audiences to the landmarks of Taiwan’s social and political development by putting Taiwanese people into the limelight. The films in its first part, Portraits of a Nation, are pictures of individuals who represent social groups that have framed Taiwan’s society. The recently digitally restored Liu Pi Chia (1967) on a war veteran from mainland China is a realistic and powerful portrayal of the daily life of mainlanders who have settled in Taiwan after the war. Another part of the programme, Memory of a Nation, presents seven films that reflect on the past through the eyes of their protagonists. One of the highlights is Hou Hsiao-hsien’s A Time To Live, A Time To Die (1985), a coming-of-age story about generational conflicts in the stifling atmosphere of post-war Taiwan. The third part, Paradox of a Nation, shows the heavy-handedness of an authoritarian regime that cracked down on its citizens instead of protecting them. It includes one of the Green Team’s video-documentations of the 1980s’ numerous protest movements which were preparing the ground for Taiwan’s democratization. In Time(s) of a Nation, festivalgoers will be treated to some of best feature and documentary films of the Taiwan cinema. The films, all of which are of more than hundred minutes in length, are portraits of their times that will allow audiences to get immersed into a Taiwanese world. Edward Yang’s masterpiece Yi Yi (A One and a Two) (2000) is one of the many treats offered to Kosovo’s cineastes in this unprecedented showcase of Taiwanese filmmaking.

DokuFest International Documentary and Short Film Festival, held in the medieval city of Prizren in the Republic of Kosovo, was established in 2002. With a strong focus on the Balkan region, human rights, social movements, and issues of national independence, it has developed into a popular festival that attracts more than 15,000 local and international guests.  The retrospective “Birth of a Nation: Focus on Taiwan@DokuFest” was organized with the support of the Taiwan Film Institute and the Taipei Representative Office, Budapest, Hungary. For further information, please contact: taiwandocs@mail.tfi.org.tw

Find out more about the program at Dokufest official website“Focus on Taiwan”: Large retrospective at Kosovo DokuFest 2018 shares issues of nationhood and identity

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