Thu, Jun 14, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Atayal film to begin shoot

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

After more than a year of preparation and with the participation of more than 400 people from two remote Atayal villages, the filming of a movie dedicated to the Atayal tribe will begin next week.

A Thousand Years of Atayal (泰雅千年) started out as a request from the Shei-pa National Park (雪霸國家公園) to shoot a documentary recording the life and culture of the Atayal who live in the national park, Lu Szu-yueh (盧思岳), producer of the movie, said at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

"But we decided that, instead of making a straight documentary, we'd add a storyline to make it more interesting," Lu said.

Chen Wen-pin (陳文彬), the film director, started out writing a short feature, which in time developed into a long feature, Lu said.

The story revolves around the life of a young Atayal man called Yukan, who works in a big city and has recurring dreams of an ancient Atayal village.

Yukan later discovers that the village is actually the home of his ancestors and decides to return to it in search of his identity.

Determined to inject more local color into the movie and create a movie that reflects the life of the Atayal people from an Aboriginal perspective, Lu asked for the Atayal community's assistance and involvement in the project.

"The Aborigines didn't just act, they also participated in the production," Lu said.

All decisions made about the movie had to be approved by an 11-member committee made up of residents in two nearby Atayal villages, Lu said.

Meanwhile, a traditional Atayal village used in the filming of the ancient village was constructed based on ancient knowledge and using local materials.

"The village elders led the younger residents in building the houses based on traditional Atayal methods," Lu said, adding that more than 400 Aborigines were involved in the construction.

All the actors in the movie were also recruited and trained locally, Lu said.

"I hope [the making of the film] can help us preserve our culture and rediscover those traditions that have long been lost," said Yumin, an Atayal man who participated in the making of the movie.

Unlike past films on the same subject, "99 percent of the dialogue in the movie will be in Atayal," Chen said.

The movie is expected to be released at the end of the year, Chen said.

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