A BREATH FROM THE BOTTOM
Directed by Chan Ching-lin
Official Selection, 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Best Director, 2013 Taipei Film Festival
We open on the wrinkled faces of the old. What follows might be a tribute to ordinary Taiwanese, or to the weathered laboring heroes, or to those that need to be protected by the young. What follows instead is what they’re about to do: storm the capitol with picket signs and assert their rights in a democratic country. It’s a bold way to set up the drama. But as it turns out, it’s just the beginning.
The film condenses the conflict and complexity of protest into the story of a young cop who is in line for a promotion, and his father who is sick of do-gooders like his son, who follows orders instead of protecting the people. They’re about to come face-to-face in the public square and test the extent to which one’s feeling for family can exceed one’s commitment to a cause.
At a time in which Taiwanese narrative cinema has veered in heavily mainstream and conservative directions, Chan Ching-lin’s short feature is a gut-punch of reality, told with the urgency of its quick takes and stylish cinematography. Less an advocate for any specific political position than the cinematic rendering of political fire itself, A BREATH FROM THE BOTTOM is a time capsule for one of the more politically-charged years in recent Taiwanese history. –Brian Hu
Co-sponsored by: UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair in Taiwan Studies, UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series
Starring: Tsai Ming Xiu, Kao Ying Hsuan, Lin Li-shu
Shang-Sing Guo / Taiwan / 2012 / 30 minsA wrongly-accused rural boy loses his innocence when the real world refuses to believe him.
Precedes: A BREATH FROM THE BOTTOM