So it’s on! I’ve got tickets and will be in Taiwan from August 6-23. Here’s a few things I’m still hoping to find:
- A Japanese person whose family lived in Taiwan during the colonial period – Over 200,000 Japanese were repatriated from Taiwan after World War II. I almost stumbled onto the grandson of one of these Japanese-Taiwanese when I was there in 2008. I’ve been looking for him ever since. It would be great to humanize this part of Taiwan’s history with family photos and an interview.
- The Green Team Video Collective – in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a pirate cable television station sprung up in Taiwan, which supposedly recorded over 300 protests. I would love to interview a member of this collective and/or find some of their raw footage.
- Kaohsiung Tapes – The Kaohsiung Incident was one of the seminal events of Taiwan’s democratization. I discovered that an audio recording was made of the events of that night, which was smuggled to the U.S. and transcribed by Eileen and Morgan Chang. You can find their transcript here. But where are the actual tapes? I’ve emailed the Wu San Lien Foundation (no reply) and asked three people so far. I suppose I will go and pay a visit to the Foundation when I am in Taiwan.
And here are some things I intend to film:
- Indigenous festival in Hualien – preferably one with Sakinu or Pinuyumayan, who are already in the film.
- Pandas in the National Zoo – It didn’t occur to me before, but now pandas are throughout the film. After Nixon and Kissinger went to China, pandas were sent to the U.S. After Ma Ying Jeou sent an envoy to China, pandas were sent to Taiwan.
- Night Market food – I have plenty of footage of the family at night markets but didn’t focus on the food. Obviously, no discussion about Taiwan’s culture is complete without mention of night markets and food.
- Interviews at the Chiang Kai Shek statues – In the 1990s, statues of Chiang Kai Shek were removed throughout the island. Much like statues of Lenin and Sadam Hussein were toppled. The Chiang statues all ended up in Cihu, where he is buried. I visited the site in 2009, but I was sick that day and didn’t have the energy to coerce visitors to talk about the statues. I’d like to go back and ask a bunch of dumb questions – “Who was Chiang Kai Shek?” “Why are these statues here?”
Also, I’ll be haunting film archives in Taiwan and connecting up with some Wild Strawberries.