Mon, Feb 03, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Documentary maker Rodriguez planning to shoot in Taiwan

Staff writer, with CNA, BUENOS AIRES

Argentine filmmaker Marcos Rodriguez, whose 2016 documentary Arribenos explored the lives of Taiwanese immigrants in Buenos Aires, plans to shoot a sequel in Taiwan.

The Ministry of Culture is reviewing the storyboard — which is to follow immigrants to Argentina on their return to Taiwan — to determine if it qualifies for an international coproduction grant.

Rodriguez said his interest in Taiwanese culture and inspiration for making Arribenos grew out of his admiration for Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) and Taipei-based filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮).

Rodriguez named the film after the main street that runs through Buenos Aires’ Barrio Chino, or Chinatown, which flourished as a center of Taiwanese culture during a surge in immigration during the 1980s.

Perhaps because of the era in which the immigration took place, the Barrio Chino has a nostalgic, stuck-in-time quality that brings to mind the atmosphere of some of Hou’s classic films, he said.

To prepare for the movie, Rodriguez said he studied Taiwanese culture for a year before spending another year filming in Barrio Chino, capturing holiday gatherings, religious ceremonies and karaoke parties.

Rodriguez said he discovered that a considerable number of Taiwanese immigrants left Argentina during the 2001 financial crisis.

Since then, he has become increasingly curious about what became of them after returning to Taiwan and what memories they had of their time in Argentina, he said.

In coming to Taiwan to make a sequel, Rodriguez hopes to complement the story told in the 2016 documentary, and give a fuller picture of the rich and varied experiences of Taiwanese immigrants, he said.

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