French filmmaker Tolt releases 'Don’t go to Taiwan'

French filmmaker Tolt proves why travelers should go to Taiwan

(Screenshot from YouTube video)

(Screenshot from YouTube video)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — French film director Benjamin Martinie, who goes by the handle "Tolt," has created a travel video introducing Taiwan with the contrarian title "Don't go to Taiwan" to prove why travelers should, in fact, visit the country.

The film is Martinie's ninth episode of a series of travel films intentionally given the admonishment "Don't go to... " Martinie, who specializes in travel films, says he deliberately chooses negative titles to use reverse psychology "to oppose negative misconceptions of the footage."

Martinie said that when he was approached by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau to produce a film about Taiwan, he was excited because he knew nothing about the country and was sure that the "'Made in Taiwan' vision we have in Western countries could only be false." After completing the project, Martinie said, "I was not disappointed! Honestly, it was a great trip."

The director lamented that he only had a week and said he wished he had been able to extend his stay. Martinie said he especially remembered "the warmth of Taiwanese people, its very surprisingly lush nature, and its amazing gastronomy."

In the bilingual 3:41-minute-long video, Tolt presents several negative stereotypes about Taiwan and then dispels them with stunning imagery. The first stereotype, "Taiwan is just buildings and factories," is quickly countered with verdant scenes of Taiwan's fields, forests, and mountains.

The next fallacy is "Taiwan's nature is completely lifeless." He then presents wild monkeys, butterflies, plants, and a bamboo forest. The words "Taiwanese temples are quite humdrum" then flash on the screen before showing the spectacular exteriors and elaborate interiors of Kaohsiung's Dragon and Tiger Pagodas.

The myth "Taiwan is not a destination for outdoor lovers" is quickly cleared up with scenes of scenic hiking trails and spectacular suspension footbridges. In answer to the misconception "Taiwanese culture is not so diversified," Martinie presents colorful long-sleeved dancers, a Christian Church, a Buddhist Temple, indigenous musicians, and lion dancers.

Next, the video states "Taiwan has no gastronomy" before several night market dishes quickly appear. The film then flashes to both natural and manmade sites in Taiwan and the faces of Taiwan's people.

The film then touches again on all the previous visual topics in an extended closing montage and closes with the words "The heart of Asia will enchant you."

The following are the locations in order of when Martinie and his team visited them:

Zuilu Old Trail
Chengkuang Fish market