Cast: Xie Jia-hui, Alina Tsai, Lu Dong-yang, Li Wen-he, Hsu Nai-han
Official Selection, 2018 Busan International Film Festival
After Ten Years (SDAFF ’15) proved a critical and box office sensation for speculating what Hong Kong would look like a decade in the future, Taiwan became a logical next destination for the conceptual franchise. And yet, what makes TEN YEARS TAIWAN such an expansive and satisfying experience is the degree to which the looming of China is not part of the equation of these five short films, each of which imagines Taiwan in 2027 and 2028 beyond the most obvious political anxieties, and onto immediate local, emotional, ecological, and demographic ones that speak directly to a present reality.
In fact, some of the shorts feel like contemporary portraits. In “The Can of Anido,” an aboriginal farmer plants yams on a Lanyu undergoing change; in “Way Home,” an adolescent is torn between the countryside he is from and the city that promises more, essentially rendering him homeless. The dystopic comedy of the memorable “A Making-Of,” about commercial producers in need of a baby, seems only a few months away from Taiwan’s current dwindling population woes. The more classically sci-fi entry “942” ties 2027 and 2017 through unexplained breaths, but warns urgently of the treatment of overseas workers in Taiwan today. And “The Sleep,” about dream machines that offer escape from modern living, proposes a more elemental Taiwan: an island, drifting between existential realities and the dreams that keep it moving.
* All Taiwan Film Showcase screenings at UCSD are free for UCSD staff, faculty, and students.