A Silent Gaze
Taiwan〡2022〡Doc〡Color〡181 min〡Mandarin, Taiwanese
✧ 2022 Taiwan International Documentary Festival (Asian Vision Competition – Special Jury Prize)
“Bei-Jiang-Qi” is short for the three townships of Beimen, Jiangjun, and Qigu off the coast of Tainan County. Director HUANG has stayed here since 2005 after having moved more than 20 times. In 2009, he began to document the area. It took him 12 years to accumulate footage of the ever-changing times, yet it seems nothing has changed. The film presents an immense record of open landscapes and the footprints of human activities. The two are independent yet codependent of each other. In the film, HUANG tries to portray a way of life. When the camera is still, every movement condenses into one. In between different takes, moments sometimes suspend as if captured by a still photo. Although it took 12 years to film A Silent Gaze, this is not a work about time. Instead, it is about timelessness. The moment presented on the screen may be a present moment, may be a moment of the past, or perhaps a moment in the future. And at every moment, one wonders whose moment it is.
As a documentary filmmaker, HUANG Hsin-Yao is known for the satirical tone used to portray the dream and the disappointment of youth and the humorous narrative that enhances the preposterous situations one often faces in life. Bluffing BLUFFING (2005) won Best Documentary at the Golden Harvest Awards. His visual poem, NIMBUS, shot by himself, won the Jury Prize at the 2010 Taiwan International Documentary Biennale, Best Cinematography at the Golden Harvest Awards and several other international film awards. In 2010, Taivalu TAIVALU bagged the Grand Prize and Best Documentary at the Taipei Film Awards. The Great Buddha THE GREAT BUDDHA is Huang Hsin-Yao’s first narrative short film, nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2015 Golden Horse Awards. In 2015, he made Cloud Nation CLOUD NATION, the first Taiwanese documentary that has no narrative, no dialogue, no narration, no music and no protagonist. The 57-minute documentary consists of 55 shots, only depicting the moods of an island with pure images. Their latest film A Silent Gaze A SILENT GAZE (2021) was selected at Taiwan Docs.
11.13 ㊐ 13：00〡台南新光影城 4 廳〡★ Q&A session with the Director
I have moved many times with my family since I was a child. By 2005, I moved to Qigu with my father, and we've since settled there. In 2007, we pooled together some money and built a house, where I have stayed for the longest time. In 2009, I completed a documentary film on Kouhu, Yunlin, called Nimbus NIMBUS. After that, I started filming Beimen, Jiangjun, and Qigu. For this project, I did not expect to take as long as 12 years. In 2021, while I was busy with the final stage of the post-production, my father suddenly passed away. I thought the best gift I could give him is this work full of sea salt and heavy wind, which very much resembled our lives and destiny. I always went to the north for work, away from home. How fortunate we had come to Qigu, built our own house, had a place to call home and developed a certain nostalgia of my own.