Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 13 News List

Movie review: Turning 18

An essential coming-of-age tale

By Davina Tham  /  Staff reporter

The documentary also touches the tip of the iceberg of indigenous rights by interspersing archival footage of the development of Hualien under Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rule. Juxtaposed against the daily realities of Hui-chien and Pei-ying, the propaganda footage does just enough to make viewers wonder about the failed promises of development and the prejudice and condescension toward “naive” Aboriginal communities.

Turning 18 plucks universal heartstrings even as it illuminates the specific ways in which inequality rears its head in the lives of two young Aboriginal women. My only hope is that Ho continues to train her lens on all layers of society, armed with that unflinching empathy for her subjects and a clear-eyed view of the light and shadows at work in their world.

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