8th DMZ Docs(2016)
I AM DOCU
On a warm spring day in 2015, Grandma Tamayo and the Tamaki family, the largest immigrant family on Yaeyama Islands of Okinawa, goes a journey back home where they’d long left before World War II: Taiwan, on which they little by little steer out of the disorientation of their memory and complex identity. This is a heartwarming home movie spanning 80 years about how a family together wades through and eventually revives in the tide of the vicissitudes in East Asian history.
Like most Asian countries went through, Taiwan and Okinawa also have the history of colonization. Taiwan was occupied by the Qing and then by Japan after the Sino-Japanese War. After the Second World War, Taiwan was governed by the Kuomintang, defeated party in the Chinese Civil War, declared martial law while discriminating native Taiwanese and mainland Chinese, which seemed to be extended colonization to the Taiwanese. Okinawa, the former independent nation as the Ryukyu Kingdom, was merged into the Japanese Empire, and then governed by U.S. military government after the Second World War. Even after Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972, Okinawa has gone through various regional discrimination issues including U.S. army base problem. In the middle of this historical flow, the Tamaki family survived. During the Japanese colonial era, the family moved to Okinawa from Taiwan and went back to Taiwan after the war. But suppression of the Kuomintang made the Tamaki family move back to Okinawa. Since then, the family has struggled to settle down in the cycle of boom and bust of Japan. For the 88th birthday of Mrs. Tamayo, the Tamaki family sets a plan to visit Taiwan with her before it’s too late and her grandson Shingo accompanies her for the travel. Shingo sees his hometown with his bare eyes for the first time and feels complex emotions while meeting people in there. Since his step mother is Filipino, Shingo finds his family members separated from each other in Japan, Taiwan and Philippines and thinks about ideal family model and his identity. He still looks for the answer. The film shows how the history and the individual cross by crossing family life and data clips in simple but persuasive tone. [Chojung Eui-min]
YAMAMORI (2014)Temperature at Nights (2013)Wuguwang N. St. to Taipei (2010) Historical events bring changes to people, and people mature with time. This is not only a documentary that tells the complex history of the immigration of "Yaeyama Taiwanese," but also ties to the life stories of how a family grows from 80 years of historical variant. This is a story of a family that conquers from tribulations, and I know them from their smiles that comes from their strong minds. I wish this film will allow us to rethink what the Taiwanese character and national character is.