Gift of Life
TAIWAN / 2003 / Mandarin, Taiwanese / Color / Video / 148 min
Director, Producer: Wu Yii-feng
Photography: Yang Jong-ming
Editing: Lin Chin-hui
Sound: Lee Jong-wang
Narrators: Wu Yii-feng, James Liu
Production Company, Source: Fullshot Communication Foundation
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A devastating earthquake hit Taiwan on September 21, 1999. Based on the written correspondence between the director and his friend, this film illustrates the sorrow of families who lost loved ones in the disaster, and the relationship between the director and his aging father who now lives in an institution for the elderly. Death and separation, despair, and the desire to live. A fine work that questions the meaning of life.
[Directors Statement] Reality is like a cruel mirror. It often absurdly places us in impossible situations, and when we have summoned all our strength to fight against it, it suddenly vanishes like smoke.
Fortunately, we occasionally find a trace of warmth amidst reality. That warmth is enough to let us catch our breath and continue on our journey . . .
Documentary is remembrance, memory, dream, fiction, and truth—just like our lives themselves.
Born in Yi-lan, Taiwan in 1960. Received B.A. in theater from the Chinese Culture University. Documentary maker, social activist, and leading pioneer of Taiwan’s current communal media movement. Founded the Full Shot Documentary Workshop in 1988. Since 1991, Full Shot’s “Community Documentary Filmmaker’s Training Program” has used a traveling film school format to recruit and train people from all walks of life, including social workers, the hearing-impaired, environmentalists, and indigenous people. Representative of the Full Shot Communication Foundation, established in 1996 to provide financial assistance to training program participants. Currently teaching at the Graduate Institute of Sound and Image Studies and serves as Executive Producer of the Multi-Media Center in Documentary at National Tainan College of the Arts. Representative works include Moon Children (1990), screened at YIDFF ’91 and Chen Tsai-Gen and His Neighbors (1997), shown at YIDFF ’97 and the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival in 1998. Took part in the New Asian Currents Special Program at YIDFF ’99, Full Shot and “Cinema Juku”/Spreading the Filmmaking Movement.