Mona Rudo's scar : two kinds of epic identity in Seediq bale

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Taiwan cinema : international reception and social change

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Ostensibly about a Seediq tribal uprising that began on 27 October 1930 against the Japanese colonial authorities in the central Taiwan town of Wushe, the historical epic film Seediq Bale has been interpreted in terms of Taiwan today. The Economist’s review, for instance, states that the movie’s ‘message of a unique, empowering Taiwanese identity is unmistakable’. A ‘Taiwanese identity’ sounds like a national identity. If so, the apparent approval of the film’s message is sur¬prising, because The Economist has not been supportive of nationalism if it means one state per nation, one people per place; the magazine opposed the ‘leave’ vote both in advance of the Scottish referendum in 2014 and before British exit from the European Union, or ‘Brexit’, in 2016. If nationalism can encompass a modem multicultural country of which citizens feel proud, then the approval makes more sense. The problem is that a film about a ritual massacre of Japanese men, women and children and a brutal reprisal against the Seediq warriors and their families hardly seems a vote for multicultuxal modernity.

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ISBN of the source publication: 9781138668164

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Recommended Citation

Sterk, D. (2017). Mona Rudo's scar: Two kinds of epic identity in Seediq bale. In K.-f. Chiu, M.-y. Rawnsley, & G. Rawnsley (Eds.), Taiwan cinema: International reception and social change (pp. 173-189). United Kingdom: Routledge.