Mon, Jan 12, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Movie trailer criticized as denigrating to Aborigines

‘HISTORICAL WOUNDS’:The trailer features a director of a comedy movie dressed in Sediq clothing and singing gibberish in an apparent attempt at satire

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Tensions between filmmaker Peng Chia-chia (澎恰恰) and supporters of Aboriginal rights escalated yesterday over a movie trailer accused of portraying Aboriginal culture in a derogatory manner.

An upcoming comedy film directed by Peng, Iron Lion Jade Dragon 2 (鐵獅玉玲瓏 2), has been mired in controversy since the release of its trailer early last month, with critics saying that the trailer’s portrayal of the Sediq people was inappropriate.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Peng called for an “open debate” with representatives from the Sediq group after refusing to publish an official apology in major national newspapers, as demanded by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Uliw Qaljupayare — a Paiwan Aborigine also known by his Chinese name, Chien Tung-ming (簡東明).

The trailer that sparked debate features Peng and fellow comedian Hsu Hsiao-shun (許效舜) dressed in traditional Sediq clothing while speaking and singing gibberish, in an apparent attempt to parody the 2011 epic Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (彩虹戰士:賽德克巴萊) — which was filmed mostly in the Sediq and Japanese languages.

It has also been said to mock Mona Rudao — the Sediq chief who led an uprising against Japanese colonial rule leading to the Wushe Incident (霧社事件) in 1930 — with the duo likening the pronunciation of the chief’s name “Mona” to the Taiwanese idiom bong la-a kiam se khoo (摸蜊仔兼洗褲) which literally means to “wash one’s pants while digging for clams” — to kill two birds with one stone.

Peng said he has already apologized and removed the trailer from the Internet, adding that any further charges are “too hurtful to bear,” and that it is his critics who are provoking ethnic tensions.

A legislative motion led by Uliw Qaljupayare demanding an apology from Peng was passed at the legislature’s plenary session on Tuesday, while discussions to establish an anti-discrimination law are also under way.

Sediq National Congress member and Aboriginal activist Awi Nokan said that Peng “does not understand at all” the issues at stake, adding: “He is unable to empathize with disadvantaged groups.”

He said the issue highlighted the importance of anti-discrimination legislation, as many Taiwanese seem to be “indifferent” to discriminatory or insensitive comments.

Last month, Aboriginal director Umin Boya, best-known for last year’s baseball-themed movie Kano, said the trailer poked fun at the “historical wounds” of both the Sediq and Japanese, and blasted Peng for propagating discriminatory views.

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