|Special Invitation Films|
Spring: The Story of Hsu Chin-Yu
TAIWAN / 2002 / Taiwanese, Mandarin / Color / 16mm / 80 min
Director: Tseng Wen-Chen
Photography: Li Meng-Che, Lin Chien-Hsiang, Wang Ying-Shun
Editing: Chen Po-Wen, Liu Chun-Hsiu Sound: Liao Chi-Hua, Chen Chih-Hao
Music: Chen Chien-Nien
Animation: Lai Hao-Jan
Sound Editing: Wu Hsiu-Lan
Producer: Yu Ching-Ping
Source: The Fukuoka City Public Library toshokan.city.fukuoka.lg.jp
Hsu Chin-Yu was an ordinary young woman working at the Taipei Post Office in 1950, when she was arrested and put in prison for 15 years because of her activities in the labor movement. The film depicts Hsu’s survival through the “White Terror” nightmare of Taiwan’s history, during which tens of thousands of people accused of being communists were arrested and killed, and her life today as an 81-year-old, using a variety of methods including reenactments and animation.
Tseng Wen-Chen drew attention in Taiwan as a young documentary film director after graduating from Tainan National University of the Arts and the department of mass communications at Tamkang University. Her film, The Earth is Sinking (1997), received an award of excellence at the Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival. Spring: The Story of Hsu Chin-Yu (2002) won the Best Documentary Award at the Golden Horse Awards, Taiwan’s equivalent to the Oscars. In 2003, she directed Mme. Chiang Kai-Shek for the Taiwan Public Television Service Foundation, which was well received both within and outside of Taiwan. She directed her first feature film, Fishing Luck, in 2005.
Regarding Film Conservation
Motion picture film is an important historical and cultural heritage, and urgent calls for its conservation are in the air. The film print of Spring: The Story of Hsu Chin-Yu is owned by the Fukuoka City Public Library, an affiliate of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), as is the National Film Center (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo). There are also other institutions such as foundations, university libraries, local governments, and TV stations across the country that take part in conserving, restoring, and screening films for various programs and purposes. Yamagata Documentary Film Library, one such institution, rents out films shown during the festival and archives submitted works in order to make them available to current and future generations.
The Documentary Film Archive Project was started this year out of a fear that industrial and cultural films made during the high-growth period in Japan could be scattered and lost as a result of the bankruptcy and breakup of production companies. The graduate school of interdisciplinary (information studies) at the University of Tokyo, the graduate school of film and new media at Tokyo University of the Arts, the National Film Center (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo), and the Documentary Film Preservation Center are cooperating with the aim of systematically collecting, conserving, and showing the films of that time and utilizing them for education and research.
The Film Preservation Society is a community-based NPO in Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. Their unique activities include uncovering films that have been buried in storerooms, and examining, restoring, and screening them. They also offer consulting and support for the conservation and utilization of these films, grass-roots exchanges through film screenings, screenings of small-format films, and a film version of the foster parent system. There will be a discussion during YIDFF 2009 titled “Preserving Films: Behind the Scenes” at 6 p.m. on October 12.