Reaching out

This year’s Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival deals with human rights, the anti-nuclear movement and ethnic diaspora communities

By Ho Yi  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 04, 2013 - Page 12

Created in 2001 by Hu Tai-li (胡台麗), a professor and researcher at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, the Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival (台灣國際民族誌影展) is a biennial event that brings together works made by filmmakers from both academic and artistic backgrounds. It has become an important forum for documentary films about minority peoples and disadvantaged social groups around the world.

This year’s theme, “beyond borders,” deals with global issues concerning human rights, the anti-nuclear movement and ethnic diaspora communities.

Highlights of the lineup featuring 34 works from 20 countries include Savage Memory, in which the great grandson of Bronislaw Malinowski, revered as one of the founding fathers of anthropology, returns to Papua New Guinea to explore the controversial legacy Malinowski left behind — within his family and the field of anthropology, as well as among the descendants of the people he studied.

One of this year’s featured directors is Trinh T. Minh-ha. Born and raised in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, Trinh emigrated to the US in 1970 and has become an eminent writer, composer, professor and experimental filmmaker. The festival introduces local audiences to two of her best-known works, Reassemblage (1982), the artist’s critique of the anthropological eye while filming in rural Senegal, and Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1985), which examines identity, memory and culture.

More than a dozen directors from home and abroad including Zachary Stuart, Paul Wolffram, Shazia Khan and Trinh will attend question-and-answer sessions and hold a symposium to discuss various topics related to the festival’s themes.

The festival opens today and runs through Tuesday, with all screenings at the Wonderful Theater (台北真善美劇院), 7F, 116 Hanzhong St, Taipei City (台北市漢中街116號7樓). Tickets are NT$150 per screening, or NT$2,000 for a festival pass, available at the door and through

Extensive information about the films and directors, as well as film schedules, can be found at the event’s bilingual Web site: