On October 19th, 2011, I attended the premiere of “Dear Taiwan” at the National Taiwan University. Coincidentally, the documentary was shown in the “Socrates Room”, as the purpose of the film was to provoke contemplation and dialogue on identity from the younger generation of Taiwan through series of questions and testimonies by other young Taiwanese.
The theme of the documentary centered around a seemingly simple question, “Who am I?” As simple and short as the question is, it is probably one of the most difficult questions for any young person, who constantly undergoes the arduous process of self-discovering, to answer. To a young Taiwanese, as the film has demonstrated, deriving at something that resembles an answer is an even more strenuous, hellacious and sometimes painful journey.
I was deeply moved by the testimonies of the individuals featured in the film, as I, too, have underwent my own expedition on my identity. What I found most moving was the stories of Taiwanese, who have lived within the confine and comfort of the island, going overseas and were then suddenly confronted by the lack of recognition by their visited country and forced to identify with the citizens of a neighboring nation that has never governed, contributed to the welfare and development of Taiwan. As shocking and sad as the experience might be, the realization and the importance of knowing who one is became salient. It was difficult to not shed tears along with those recounting such experience.
In all, I find “Dear Taiwan” to be thought provoking and touching. The film also provided a window to Taiwan’s trying past and help explained the complexity of issues on identity in Taiwan. I am very glad such film was made and encourage anyone who is interested in engaging him/herself in understanding and contemplating on who he/she is and where his/her place is in this world to watch it.
By E. Nokita
October 26, 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan