DER Documentary

Sounds of Love and Sorrow

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by Hu Tai-Li
color, 86 min, 2000




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Sounds of Love and Sorrow lets the eerie sounds of the Paiwan flutes including the nose flute, which legend says imitates the call of the deadly hundred-pace snake, mix in with the recollections of tribal elders and traditional tales to present a rich background of Paiwan life in Taiwan.

Tribal elders recall the days of the youth and their romances. They tell of the creation of the Paiwan people, and lament the end of tribal life, crushed by the irresistible and contradictory forces of government policies and alien cultural influences. Talking of love, both the charm and cruelty of a traditional society are revealed. For many of the Paiwan, love may be a high point of a young life – but it is also the gateway to sorrow. But in the end, it is the high spirits, the playful romances and the family spirit of the Paiwan which shine through.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Jury's Special Mention Award at 2000 Taiwan International Documentary
Festival selected for International Competition at 2001 Marseille International Documentary Festival
Film & Video Festival of American Anthropological Association Meeting, 2001
Asiaticafilmmediale, Rome 2001
Bilan du Film Ethnographique, Paris 2002
The Women Behind the Camera: Celebrating Women Directors in Chinese Cinema, Center for Chinese Studies of the University of Michigan 2002
RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, 2003
Review by Lindy Li Mark in American Anthropologist (Dec. 2001,Vol. 103: 1159-1160)

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

Related Resources
"The Camera is Working: Paiwan Aesthetics and Performances in Taiwan," published in Expressive Genres and Historical Change, 2005



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