Taiwan Documentary Film Festival 2022

Taking up the tradition after almost three years of pandemic, the ERCCT staged its 16th Taiwan Documentary Film Festival at Kino Arsenal on Friday and Saturday, 25 to 26 November 2022. 
After welcoming remarks by ERCCT Director Prof. Gunter Schubert and an opening message from Dr. Dieu Ian-Tsing 趙彥清 , the director general of the Munich branch office of the Taipei Representative Office to the Federal Republic of Germany, who generously supported the event, the festival program this time centered on news cameraman-turned-documentary film maker Lee Hui-Jen 李惠仁 (Kevin H.J. Lee)’s work. Director Lee had himself come to Tübingen to present and discuss several of his films. 

As a critical observer of Taiwan‘s society and politics, most of Lee’s work focuses on actual problems and issues. Eye on the Left (睜開左眼), the festival’s opener, and Taste of Apple (蘋果的滋味), shown on Saturday morning, both threw the spotlight on the problematic developments in the world of Taiwan’s mass media, an area which is for biographical reasons of particular concern to Lee Hui-Jen. 
Self-Censorship 幷控制, screened on Friday afternoon, was a two hour tour de force through the issue of the Chinese Communist government’s control and oppression of dissent, and how that reaches beyond the borders of mainland China also into Hongkong and Taiwan. In The Incredible Disappearing School 上學去then, the director took up the issue of the private sector in Taiwan’s tertiary education, which is bearing the pressure of Taiwan’s demographic crises and insufficiently regulated by the law on private universities. 
A bit of an outlier in the realm of Lee Hui-Jen’s work but no less intriguing was No. 37 Huafushan 寄居蟹的諾亞方舟 about the life of the inhabitants of a disabled persons’ care facility (at 37 Huafushan Rd. in New Taipei City’s Bali district), portraying their hopes, dreams, pleasures and friendships as well as their frustrations and experiences of discrimination.

On Friday evening, Cheng Yu-Chieh’s feature film Dear Tenant 親愛的房客 completed the festival program: the story of Lin Jian-Yi who takes care of his deceased partner’s Mother and child-son, only to get accused of murder when the old lady passes away. 
Our gratitude also goes to the team of Kino Arsenal (Arsenal Kinobetriebe Stefan Paul KG) for hosting us and for the smooth cooperation.

The program

Friday, 25 November 2022
14:00   Opening Ceremony with opening remarks by Prof. Schubert and Director General of the Taipei Representative Office branch office in Munich Dr. Dieu Ian-Tsing.
14:15   睜開左眼 Eye on the Left (2009, 56 min.)
15:25   幷: 控制 Self-Censorship (2017, 120 min.)
17:30   Q&A with guest director Lee Hui-Jen
18:30   Dear Tenant 親愛的房客, Cheng Yu-Chieh (2020, 107 min.)

Saturday, 26 November 2022
10:00   蘋果的滋味 The Taste of Apple (2015, 120 min.)
12:15   寄居蟹的諾亞方舟 No. 37 Huafushan (2011, 57 min.)
13:15   Lunch Break
14:15   上學去 The Incredible Disappearing School (2020, 90 min.)
15:45   Q&A with guest director Lee Hui-Jen
16:30   The End.