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MND to lend aboriginal servicemen for star director's new film

MND to lend aboriginal servicemen for star director's new film

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has agreed to help an award-wining Taiwanese director by allowing several aboriginal servicemen to take time away from their duties to work as actors in his new film, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
Wei Te-sheng, director of Taiwan's biggest grossing locally- produced film, "Cape No. 7," needs several indigenous people to be key actors or extras on his next project titled "Seediq Bale," which is an epic account of an uprising by indigenous Seediq tribesmen against Japanese colonialists during Japan's occupation of Taiwan from 1895 to 1945.
"The film will require a lot of aboriginal extras, not to mention about 20 or 30 aborigines who will actually play more than a cameo part in the film," said KMT Legislator Justin Chou.
However, those indigenous people who meet the requirements of the roles of the movie are almost all doing their military service, so the casting of the film is "not running smoothly," Chou said.
Chou later asked the defense ministry to support the casting of the film, and has received a promise from National Defense Minister Chen Chao-min that the servicemen can take time off. The uprising of the Seediq tribesmen, called Wushe Incident, ended in a 1930 massacre by Japanese soldiers of Taiwanese indigenous people of the Seediq tribe.
Considered the most famous and most violent of all the anti-Japanese uprisings in Taiwan, the incident occurred in the aboriginal region of Wushe in present day Nantou County. After a Japanese police officer insulted a tribesman, hundreds of Seediq tribesmen, under the leadership of tribal chief Mona Rudao, attacked Japanese residents in the area. During the violence, Japanese residents were killed. The Japanese colonial government then sent in the troops and during the military crackdown, most of the tribal insurgents were either killed or committed suicide, along with their family members or fellow tribesmen. Several hundreds of the tribesmen were killed.
The Seediq are a Taiwanese aboriginal tribe living primarily in Nantou County and Hualien County. They were officially recognized as Taiwan's 14th indigenous group in April 2008. Previously, the tribe, along with the closely related Truku people, were classified as Atayal, a different tribe altogether.
"The Seediq Bale" will have a production cost of over US$10 million, with a projected release date of mid-2010.
Wei's first-time feature film, "Cape No. 7," made NT$530 million (US$16.06 million) in the box office. It depicted two love stories between two interracial Taiwanese-Japanese couples during the Japanese occupation period and in modern day. The film was popular for its unique local humor and insightful depiction of Taiwanese culture.
(By Lilian Wu)




Updated : 2021-03-06 13:50 GMT+08:00