Mon, Dec 24, 2018 - Page 2 News List

‘All Taiwan’ documentary features footage from 1930s

By Liu Wan-chun  /  Staff reporter

People stand at attention in a still from All Taiwan, a compilation of documentaries that included this scene from the 1930s during the Japanese colonial era.

Photo copied by Liu Wan-chun, Taipei Times

All Taiwan (全台灣), which features footage from the 1930s, premiered yesterday at the Chin Men Theater in Tainan after the National Museum of History and Tainan National University of the Arts recovered and re-edited the footage.

The film is a 66-minute compilation of four decades-old documentaries, some silent, including the only surviving footage of events from the Japanese colonial period.

The museum and the university released Colonial Japanese Documentaries on Taiwan: Four Films (片格轉動間的台灣顯影) in 2008, another compilation featuring footage from the 1930s.

Footage used in All Taiwan was filmed by a team of Japanese hired by the then-Japanese governor-general of Taiwan, museum researcher Chen Yi-hung (陳怡宏) said.

The government held a Miss Taiwan beauty contest and chose Taiwanese songs that were popular at the time, such as Moonlight Sorrow (月夜愁), to be featured in the film, Chen said.

All Taiwan also features an inauguration ceremony of a Shinto shrine in Tainan, while an air-raid drill and a school sports day are the only surviving footage of such events from the Japanese colonial period.

All Taiwan was not made for nostalgic reasons, but rather with the goal of reconnecting with history, museum director Lin Chung-hsi (林崇熙) said.

Hopefully, the film will help people understand how Taiwan was perceived by the Japanese of the time, said Zeng Ji-xian (曾吉賢), an assistant professor at the university’s Graduate Institute of Studies in Documentaries and Film Archiving, who tool part in the recovery process.

Understanding and reinterpreting history would help construct Taiwan’s identity, Zeng said.

All Taiwan is to be screened in Taipei and is available to buy at the museum.

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