The nation’s first epic feature film directed by Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖), the maker of the blockbuster hit Cape No. 7 (海角七號), will hit theaters in two parts in September.
After the success of Cape No. 7, which enjoyed the second--biggest box office sales in the nation’s cinematic history, Wei has spent at least NT$600 million (US$20.7 million) to make Seediq Bale (賽德克巴萊).
The epic is based on the most famous and most violent of the anti-Japanese uprisings during the nation’s Japanese colonial period, know as the Wushe Incident, in which Sediq hero Mona Rudao led his tribe in a rebellion against Japanese military forces in 1930.
The incident occurred in what is now Renai Township (仁愛), Nantou County.
The Sediqs are the nation’s 14th officially recognized Aboriginal tribe and have a population of between 6,000 and 7,000.
Featuring a cast of 15,000 and produced by a 400-person technical production crew from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, Wei said that Seediq Bale was in post--production and would be released in two parts.
The first part, scheduled to be released on Sept. 9, will center on the portrayal of the major characters and the atmosphere of the colonial era. The second part, to be released on Sept. 30, will revolve around the uprising of the Sediq tribe and its suppression by the Japanese army, the director said.
Each part will run for at least two hours, he said.
“Seediq Bale means ‘a real man’ in the language of the Sediq. I am truly grateful for the dedication that my crew showed. Without them, it would never have been possible for me to create this world-class Taiwanese epic feature,” Wei said on Friday.
Despite the huge budget for a local production, some of the crew were not paid for as much as two months of work during the 10-month shoot.
Wei will meet his fans on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13 at the Taipei International Book Exhibition at the World Trade Center.