UCL Grand Challenge of Global Health

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Film - Warriors of the Rainbow

UCL Grand Challenges: Intercultural Interaction

4th December 2012 7pm

Medical Sciences & Anatomy Building, 131, AV Hill Lecture Theatre, Gower Street, WC1 Map

Warriors of the rainbow (Seediq Bale 赛德克·巴莱, 2011)
Director: Wei Te-sheng (Wei Desheng) 魏德圣 (Taiwan)
Introduced by Asher Tlalim  (NFTS)

Seediq Bale

Depicting a little-known episode of 20th century history, the Wushe Incident in Taiwan, this is the story of the rebellion of a coalition of local indigenous tribes led by the Seediq chief Mouna Rudo against the Japanese forces in 1930. During the Japanese occupation of the island, the warrior clans living in the Qilai mountains are reduced to forced labour and total submission. Exploiting the Seediq Bale belief in a male rite of passage which involves young warriors bathing their hands in the blood of their enemies, the chiefs convince the members of their clans to put up a courageous fight against the Japanese occupiers. During the partially successful uprising, they hold out for 50 days but are finally defeated by a foreign army vastly superior in numbers and employing mortars, airplanes and poison gas. The surviving 300 warriors are then relocated and still have never been able to return to their homeland.

An interesting representation of the spiritual beliefs of a headhunting tribe in Taiwan, this film, seen by some as ‘steeped in mysticism, tribal folklore and Asian machismo’, nevertheless tries to give an account of the indigenous subjective perspective on an historical incident, albeit with some inaccuracies and a simplified understanding of the tribal politics involved.

Part of the Festival of Chinese Film and the Body 2012

Organised with Patrizia Liberati, PhD candidate at Peking University.

Running up to Chinese New Year 2013, the UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity will be showing a season of recent Chinese films related to the UCL Grand Challenges themes: Global Health, Intercultural Interaction, Sustainable Cities and Human Wellbeing. The screenings will be presented by three film specialists. Where possible, they will also feature Q & As with the directors.

All the screenings are open, free of charge, to all members of UCL and registered Friends of UCL CCHH. To become a Friend, please click here.

The Festival forms part of the new CCHH course Chinese Film and the Body.
For details of the course, please click here.

Page last modified on 23 nov 12 17:37