Taiwan went through a long period of authoritarian rule, and even though that is over three decades in the past, the work of transitional justice continues to prove difficult to get underway. Some of the reasons for this are a lack of consensus among the people, national values that are in chaos, and a number of social systems (and even constitutional values) that have yet to be fully established.
The Taiwan International Human Rights Film Festival is a social education effort that aims to tap into deep cultural roots to promote concepts of human rights and help the people better understand the nature of transitional justice. Through the pursuit of truth and reconciliation, the National Human Rights Museum hopes to shape new shared values one step at a time.
However, it can be difficult to look at the past and seek the truth within it. The theme of this year's festival is "Through the Looking-Glass," a journey into a strange, seemingly mirrored version of the reality with which one is so familiar, where the truths one has taken for granted are flipped on their heads. The images one sees in this mirror world are not necessarily true, but willingness to explore this strange new world is the key to understanding the mysteries and puzzles of Taiwan's past.
For the festival's 2018 edition, organizers have chosen films from Columbia, Germany, Palestine, South Korea, Tibet, and Tunisia, in addition to several productions from Taiwan. These films all attempt to confront histories of state violence, examine scars, and explore the truth. They question the continued control that lingering feelings from authoritarian rule can have on the people's collective consciousness and explore the difficulty involved in exposing the truth.
The special selection of nine Taiwanese and international films is split into three sections, each investigating a different theme: resistance to authoritarianism, transitional justice, Taiwan in perspective.
The curatorial objective is for people to walk into the cinema with questions and leave with even more of them ― for viewers to become inspired to start their own journey through unfamiliar realms in search of their truths.
The screenings of these films will be free to attend (reserve tickets here) and will be held on the weekends between Aug. 4 and 25 in Taipei at the Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park, National 228 Memorial Museum, Spot Huashan, and Eslite Dunhua.
More information is available through:
Event Site: https://tihrff.nhrm.gov.tw
The Private’s Mom / Issac Wang, Sam Yang (Taiwan)
Aug. 4 (1.30pm) at National 228 Memorial Museum
Journey to the Promised Island / Liu Chi-hsiung (Taiwan)
Aug. 5 (1.30pm) at Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park
7 Lives / Lilia Blaise, Amine Boufaied (Tunisia)
Aug. 5 (4pm) at Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park
Pawo / Marvin Litwak (Germany), Sonam Tseten (India)
Aug. 11 (1.30pm) at Spot Huashan
Ghost Hunting / Raed Andoni (Palestine)
Aug 11 (4pm) at Spot Huashan
Impunity / Juan Jose Lozano (Columbia)
Aug. 12 (2pm) at Spot Huashan
On Happiness Road / Sung Hsin-yin (Taiwan)
Aug. 18 (1.30pm) at Eslite Dunhua
The People vs. Fritz Bauer / Lars Kraumme (Germany)
Aug. 18 (5pm) at Eslite Dunhua
Criminal Conspiracy / Choi Seung-ho (South Korea)
Aug. 25 (1.30pm) at National 228 Memorial Museum