Marking a notable achievement in Taiwanese cinema, Fishing Luck (Deng dai fei yu), the first feature narrative film set on Taiwan's Orchid Island, home to the Tao Aborigines, premiered in 2005 at the Twelfth Women Make Waves film festival in Taipei. It was also the first feature film directed by award-winning Taiwanese woman director Tseng Wen-Chen. While contributing to the slowly growing canon of Taiwanese cinema, an industry historically dwarfed by the Hollywood machine, this essay examines how the film perpetuates notions of primitivism in cinema in its effort to build bridges of communication between Taiwanese Han and Aborigines. What is needed instead is a sincere commitment to supporting the expression of a multiplicity of evolving voices and experiences, which must include Taiwan's indigenous peoples. This essay calls for a sustainable training and funding infrastructure to nurture Aborigine talent in Taiwan's film industry, however vulnerable the industry may be.
Anita Wen-Shin Chang; In the Realm of the Indigenous: Local, National, and Global Articulations in Fishing Luck. positions 1 August 2009; 17 (3): 643–653. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-2009-018
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