The Islands

Clara LAW

Taiwan〡2022〡Doc〡Color〡82 min〡Mandarin

Ting-hao’s new job on the offshore island of Matsu is taking him a world away from his familiar workaday routine and the chaotic bustle of Taipei City. Apart from his car and suitcases, he carries with him the weight of ongoing criminal charges and memories of that night five years ago when he and others stormed and tried to occupy the Executive Yuan.

Seasonal winds ever scour this landscape. Tides convey a never-ending supply of garbage and debris onshore. Matsu, a frontline island of the Cold War and now a quiet backwater far removed from the machinations of national politics, is where Ting-hao hopes to rethink and restart his career in local politics.


Clara LAW

CHIANG Wei-Hua is a Taiwanese independent filmmaker. Chiang received his master degree in Documentary studies at Tainan National University of the Arts. Chiang CHIANG's documentaries focus on Taiwanese youth cultures. The Right Thing THE RIGHT THING (2010) awarded for the Best Doc-film at South Taiwan Film Festival. The Edge of Night THE EDGE OF NIGHT (2018) was the selected competition film for the 2018 Taipei Film Festival and awarded for the Top Prize at South Taiwan Film Festival.

11.08 ㊁ 19:30〡台南新光影城 4 廳〡 Q&A session with the Director
Buying Tickets

The emotional cost of participating in social movements is difficult to assess or quantify. When I learned of political activist Ting-hao’s plans to accept a new position in Matsu, I saw a potential opportunity to weave a relatively easygoing, pleasant narrative on self-reflection and healing. However, my assumptions were soon exposed as naïve. This group of islands has a unique story all its own; a story that lifts the veil on the tangled absurdity of the politics against which we fight. Here on these islands of wind, rain, and granite, along the boundary line between two very different political systems, it is easy to imagine yourself caught in an online RPG game…only, no one steps up to “role play” with you.