Incense Fire

CHENG Hui-Ling

Taiwan〡2022〡Doc〡Color〡55 min〡Mandarin, Hakka
✧ 2022 Women Make Waves International Film Festival

Situated in the middle of a traditional three-section compound, “tangˊhaˊ” is the shrine where the Hakka people worship ancestors. At dusk every day, the “tangˊhaˊ fire” has to be lit. It burns all night, lighting up not only the courtyard but the road leads generations of offspring home. Nonetheless, traditionally in Hakka culture, the so-called “offspring” do not include the married daughters and those who had not yet married before they died. Moreover, the married daughters are regarded as outsiders and not allowed to worship the ancestors, nor to get involved in the affairs. Despite their successful careers, the modern Hakka women are still neglected in the clans. However, As the younger generations come, the restrictions have begun to lose.


CHENG Hui-Ling

CHENG Hui-Ling is an independent filmmaker who graduated from Tainan National University of the Arts, and majored in Studies in Documentary & Film Archiving. HuiLing has been awarded with Golden Harvest Awards and Annual R.O.C Documentary Awards. Also she has been nominated by Golden Bell Awards, Japan Prize 2011, Prix Jeunesse 2016 and Taipei Film Festival 2019.

11.06 ㊐ 17:40〡台南新光影城 4 廳〡 Q&A session with the Director
Buying Tickets

The essence of the Hakka culture does not lie in tung tree blossoms or the Hakka printed cloth but the preservation of Hakka culture and traditions. However, it is precisely what stops the Hakka people from moving forwards in many aspects.

As a Hakka woman, I grew up in a family where sons were more valued than daughters. I got so used to the fact that often I did not realize the inequality between the genders. Making this film prompted me to re-examine the situation and the position I was in. I’m not asking for a fierce fight, but I’m willing to do something to promote gender equality at an appropriate time. Moreover, I hope this film will inspire people to do the same.