International Competition

Grandma’s Hairpin

- TAIWAN / 2000 / Chinese / Color / 16mm / 90 min

Director, Script, Producer: Hsiao Chu-chen
Photography: Qin Ding-chang
Editing: Chen Bo-wen
Sound: Kao May-lai
Source: Hsiao Chu-chen
7, Lane 29, Chyau-Yih Rd., Shin-Dian, Taipei TAIWAN
Phone & Fax: 886-2-22145192
E-mail: bluekite@seed.net.tw

Director Hsiao Chu-chen points her camera at her father, a retired soldier. In 1949, the Nationalist government retreated from mainland China to Taiwan with 600,000 soldiers. In his twenties at the time, Hsiao’s father believed as did many others they would soon return to China with the Nationalist government. But it took forty years for relations across the straits to be re-established, and it was futile even to dream of returning home. Hsiao uses an ornamental hairpin that belonged to her grandmother left behind on the mainland as the key to her father’s world, bringing forth his feelings towards the China of that era and the remembrances of other retired soldiers.

[Director’s Statement] Recent Chinese history has been plagued with riotous upheavals: countless wars, northern battles, war against the Japanese invaders, and war between the Nationalists and the Communists.... Soldiers dying on the battlefield, families torn apart, civilians rendered homeless. Burdened for life by a historical mistake, just how many people have to pay?


- Hsiao Chu-chen

Graduated from the department of economics at National Tsinghua University in 1994. Began making documentary films during her final year of university, focusing on handicapped people and victims of Taiwan’s White Terror. Her documentary Blood Stained Youth (1998) was included in the 1st Taiwan International Documentary Festival, the Singapore International Film Festival, the Seoul Human Rights Film Festival. The Red Leaf Legend (1999) was screened in New Asian Currents at YIDFF ’99, the Pusan International Film Festival and won awards for Best Documentary Film at the Golden Horse Film Festival and the Taipei Film Festival. Other works include The Child Po-sheng (1994), Dragon Boat Festival (1996), Meeting of True Feeling (1996), Sun Love (1997) and Suspect Truth (1998).

• International Competition | Angelos’ Film | A2 | Buenaventura Durruti, Anarchist | Crazy | Days in Those Mountains | La Devinière | Gaea Girls | Grandma’s Hairpin | In Vanda’s Room | The Land of the Wandering Souls | Mysterious Object at Noon | Paragraph 175 | Private Chronicles. Monologue | 6 Easy Pieces | Southern Comfort • Jurors | Hartmut Bitomsky | Bernard Eisenschitz | Ann Hui | Kuroki Kazuo | Ivars Seleckis