Taiwanese Film Takes Taiwanese History Beyond The 228 Event

Taiwanese Film Takes Taiwanese History Beyond The 228 Event
臺灣民主運動領袖林獻堂於1921赴東京遊說設置臺灣議會。Photo Credit:wikipedia
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Producer Khan Lee says the difficulties of Taiwan in recent years is not having culture and that creativity comes from having culture. He enjoys taiga drama the most, but no one writes historic plays, therefore he used drama reproduction methods to film "Attabu 2."

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On September 23, the Ministry of Culture invited cultural workers to a screening of Taiwanese film “Attabu 2″ that took eight years to complete. Participants also included President Ma Ying-jeou, Minister of Culture Hung Meng-chi, Producer Khan Lee, Director Xu Ming-chun and students from the History Department at Taiwan Normal University.

From the Japanese colonial period until after the war, the five most influential families in Taiwan were the Yens of Keelung, the Lins of Banqiao, the Lins of Wufen, the Gus of Lukang and the Chens of Kaohsiung. The Lins of Banqiao were the first to thrive starting in the late 1700s while the Lins of Wufen and Chens of Kaohsiung grew in the mid and late 1800s. During the Japanese colonial period, the Yens of Keelung and Gus of Lukang gained influence through establishing businesses with the support of Japanese authorities. “Attabu 2″ describes the story of Lin Hsien-tang of the Lin family in Wufen.

Lin Hsien-tang was born in Attabu, now Wufen, Taichung. He was born third among five cousins and was therefore called, “Third Young Master of Attabu." Lin took over the family business at 19, and was appointed counselor and regional chief, and was also awarded a special badge of honor by the Taiwan Governor’s Office.

Lin was dedicated to local development and petitioned to the governor’s office expressing his willingness to pay for the establishment of a secondary school in Taichung, which is now National Taichung First Senior High School.

In 1921, Lin, Cai Pei-huo and others requested the establishment of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly and thus began a 14-year-long petition. Later, Lin also founded the Taiwan Culture Association with Chiang Wei-shui in hopes of obtaining more rights for the Taiwanese under the Japanese rule. He also led the Taiwanese to gain new knowledge through public lectures.

After the outbreak of the 228 event in 1947, Lin put Yen Chia-kan, state treasurer back then, into hiding in his mansion and was declared to be a traitor of Taiwan after doing so. In September of 1949, Lin moved to Japan saying he wished to treat his head dizziness.

CNA reports, producer Khan Lee says after he learned of Lin’s story in 2008, he wanted to know what actually happened in Taiwan. In the past, the history of Taiwan seemed to start from the 228 incident, but the story of the Lin family is actually an epitome of Taiwan.

Lee says the difficulties of Taiwan in recent years is not having culture and that creativity comes from having culture. He enjoys taiga drama the most, but no one writes historic plays, therefore he used drama reproduction methods to film “Attabu 2."

Translated by Olivia Yang

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