The Rhythm in Wulu Village
TAIWAN / 2003 / Mandarin, Bunun, English / Color / 16mm / 74 min
Director: Wang Chung-hsiung
Photography: Yeh Ming-da
Editing: Chen Bo-wen, Yue-xin
Sound: Chong Tian-yu, Wei Cheng-yi
Executive Producer: Sean Fu
Producer: Ke Ting-chu
Production Company, Source, World Sales: September Culture International Ltd.
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In the Wulu village of the indigenous Bunun people deep in the mountains of southeastern Taiwan, a visiting Han Chinese director poses a question: “Even this unique culture will disappear sooner or later, don’t you think?” The village used to be isolated by the mountains, but since a new road opened to traffic and exposed them to the outside world, the villagers have become concerned about passing on the Bunun language, music and weaving in order to protect their traditional culture. The film points out the dilemmas of modern society lurking behind this seemingly pastoral existence, and listens to the voices of the people in the village. Painstakingly shot on 16mm with music throughout, it’s a breath of fresh air.
[Directors Statement] Every documentary filmmaker, loaded with social responsibilities, always hopes that his/her film will somehow solve some problems. The agenda we set in the beginning for The Rhythm in Wulu Village has gradually changed through our journey into the mountain. We realized that we were unable to solve any problems for the tribal people. The changes that came from cultural impact are the fate the whole tribe has to face together. We chose to document the place and people from a distance, trying to avoid personal interpretations, and let the place and people speak for themselves. To me, the whole experience of this film was not only a searching process, but also a journey toward growth.
Earned M.F.A. in filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute. Before becoming a freelance filmmaker, participated in various films, and worked as an assistant director in the award-wining feature film Striking Back. Works include Mirage (1998), which received the Princess Grace Award/Film Grant, Maze (1999), and Cotton Candy Game (2002), which won the Government Information Office Best Script Award. The Rhythm in Wulu Village (2003) is his first feature documentary film.
• New Asian Currents | Sand and Water | Wellspring | Three-Five People | Homesick | The Circle’s Corner | The Maze of Lanes | Nee Engey—Where Are You | NEW (IMPROVED) DELHI—Director’s Cut | A Night of Prophecy | 150 Seconds Ago | The Ballad of Life | Noah’s Ark | The Old Man of Hara | Dandelion | Hibakusha—At the End of the World | 3rd Vol.2—2 Light House | And Thereafter | Dust Buries Sabuk | Family Project: House of a Father | Edit | Gina Kim’s Video Diary | Ordo | Her and Him Van Leo | The Big Durian | Perpetual Motion | Debris | Hard Good Life | Nail | The Rhythm in Wulu Village | A Short Journey • Jurors | Kim Dong-won | Kawase Naomi • New Asian Currents Special | Part 1 | Part 2