Capturing ‘two sides of the coin’ of Freddy Lim’s life in the new film ‘Metal Politics Taiwan’

‘I used to share music, now I share ideas,’ says Freddy Lim in the film

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Photo courtesy of HELDENFILM

Photo courtesy of HELDENFILM

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — "Metal Politics Taiwan" depicts "two sides of the coin" referring to Freddy Lim, a metal rock star and a politician, both modern and traditional.

The ending scene of "Metal Politics Taiwan" shows metal rock star Freddy Lim (林昶佐) performing at a heavy metal concert during a Monga festival in Taipei. This is a representation of the two lives that Freddy Lim balances daily, a life that is for the people and for himself, living life boldly and unapologetically, while respecting Taiwan’s traditions and culture.

"Metal Politics Taiwan" was screened May 21 at the 2018 Urban Nomad Film Fest, followed by an in-depth Q&A session with German director Marco Wilms (Art War, 2013) and the lead singer of Chthonic and now a member of the Legislative Yuan, Freddy Lim, around whom the film was centered.


(Photo courtesy of HELDENFILM)

"Metal Politics Taiwan" is an independent documentary film focused on the first year of Freddy Lim’s Parliament tenure, capturing his personal and professional life, as a rock star politician.

Director Marco Wilms’ filming style is unbiased and informative, not imposing his personal opinion on Lim as a character nor the things that he captured on film. “The good part is you having a very universal point of view; you are not of the part of structure or the society,” Wilms said during an exclusive interview with Taiwan News.

During the Q&A, Wilms said, “I did not judge Freddy, because he is in the film. So you (the viewer) can make up your own mind [about him]. What I did in the film, is my point of view on the society, my experiences, my feelings, my perspective.”

“For me, it was really a big adventure to dive into this world and try to understand heavy metal and an artist.”

At times, Lim was apprehensive about Wilms filming, which caused some friction, according to both Wilms and Lim. However, both film subject and director were more than pleased with the finished product and the audience’s reactions to the film.


(Photo courtesy of HELDENFILM)

“I was like a little mouse following them. Actually he never said ‘don’t film this,’I could film nearly everything if i was there.”

Wilms said that “my film was really about the point of view from outside” and he structured the film in such a way that international audiences could understand and follow the timeline, which is why a substantial amount of Taiwan’s history was explained during the film, drawing connections between today’s political climate and the history that has shaped it.

“This film is for an international audience. We have to explain a lot of things for a western audience in general.”

This film depicts many of the contradictions reflected by Freddy Lim’s life, parallel to those of Taiwan: the rock star and the politician, the traditional and the modern, the history and the stakes of Taiwan’s future, the orderly chaos of "two sides of the coin" who is Lim, and who is presented as a metaphor for Taiwan itself.

One particular contradiction emphasized by Lim in the film was why he chose to run for a seat as a legislator. In making this decision, Lim had to consider the difference between what is fun and what is right, the difference between being a heavy metal rock star contrasted with being politician.

Lim feels like he represents the younger generation; he hopes to introduce them to politics, and get them involved. This can all be seen in the film, which includes footage from the 2014 Sunflower Student protests in front of the Legislative Yuan.


(Photo courtesy of HELDENFILM)

Lim is a very personable yet polarizing character in Taiwan's political scene, and someone who speaks openly about his stance in politics; it’s no secret where he stands on democracy and freedom . As a free and young open-minded man who is undeniably ready for change, both in domestic politics and on the international stage, Lim's dominating presence forces people to face their fears.

“Now after the film is finished, or nearly finished, having talked in front of people, hearing what they think, I found out that it was so provocative for some people. Some are so afraid to touch it,” Wilms said of the tough time working to find distributors for the film.

“Metal Politics Taiwan” captured some major events during Lim’s first year, including rally speeches, Lim confronting other lawmakers and the former national defense minister, his visit to meet the Dalai Lama, and his visit to Washington D.C. for the U.S. presidential inauguration in 2017.

The film shows Lim’s determination to fight for Taiwan’s freedom and independence from China’s claims. He voices his opinions at every opportunity, even when he get backlash from opposing parties and even China. His bandmate, Chthonic guitarist Jesse Black Liu remarks in the film, “the devil in him drives him to go to the next level.”

Freddy Lim is already at the next level, creating a new style of politics and encouraging a new age of freedom in Asia; he’s in a league of his own, and this film captures the essence of Freddy Lim and the political scene of Taiwan, something full of contradictions.


(Taiwan News Image)

The next screening of “Metal Politics Taiwan” will be Saturday, May 26 at 5:00 p.m. at Wonderful Theater in Ximenting. There will be a Q&A session with director Marco Wilms following the film screening.

For more information, check out the “Metal Politics Taiwan” Facebook page and the Urban Nomad Facebook page.

For more information about the director, Marco Wilms, go to HeldenFilm Facebook page.