Documentary on Taiwan democracy premieres in Taipei

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, May 04, 2013 - Page 4

A documentary directed by two North American filmmakers about Taiwan’s democracy and politics premiered in Taipei yesterday.

The film, Godspeed Taiwan, made by Jeff Broadway of the US and Kai Boydell of Canada, includes interviews with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US congressional representatives, Taiwanese politicians, Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai (黎智英) and Taiwanese film director Wu Nien-jen (吳念真).

“Our goal in producing this film is to strike a balance between politics, culture and history, and offer a fresh, contemporary perspective that an international audience can understand,” the filmmakers said in a statement.

The hour-long documentary, produced by Los Angeles-based Gatling Pictures, takes a look at Taiwan from the White Terror era to the present time, said the main producer, Sam Lang (郎恩祺).

“We hope the documentary will make foreigners care more about Taiwan,” its international status and its transition from martial law to democracy, said Lang, who was born in Taiwan.

Lang had been a roommate of Broadway when he was studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2008 and 2009.

He said the frequent conversations they had on Taiwanese politics eventually blossomed into an idea for a documentary after Broadway returned to the US.

Although centering on the hard topic of politics, Lang said the filmmakers also tried to incorporate Taiwan’s culture, customs and diverse voices into the film.

Godspeed Taiwan will also be shown as a “work in progress” tomorrow as part of the Urban Nomad Film Festival.

The film will be presented as a “work in progress” because producers are currently seeking to raise funds for post-production and to include more quality footage in the film, Lang said.