DER Documentary

Songs of Pasta’ay (Ta'ay - The Legendary Little People)

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by Hu Tai-Li
color, 58 min, 1989

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The Pasta’ay, which means "the festival of the legendary little people," is a significant ritual held every other year in the Saisiat aborigine group in Taiwan.

Every ten years, they hold the Great Ritual. This film focuses on the Great Ritual in 1986. It tries to convey the Saisiat people’s affection for and belief in the legendary little people. At the same time, the film brings into light Saisiat people’s ambivalence towards tourist invasion, and their dilemma of being caught between tradition and modernization. Structured by the Pasta’ay songs’ movements, the film breaks down to 15 chapters. It carefully juxtaposes the visual with the aural elements, which are conveyed in the conceptual dichotomy between “the real” and “the artificial.”

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York 1989
Bilan Du Film Ethnographique, Paris 1990
Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival, Manchester 1990
Houston International Film Festival "Gold Special Jury Award", 1990
Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival, Japan 1992
Worldmusic in the Picture Film Festival, Amsterdam 1992

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Series Related films:
Voices of Orchid Island
The Return of Gods and Ancestors: The Five Year Ceremony
Passing Through My Mother-in-Law's Village
Sounds of Love and Sorrow
Encountering Jean Rouch
Stone Dream

Related Resources
The Making of The Songs of Pasta'ay

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