An indigenous clan-based people living in harmony with nature find their way of life threatened when violent interlopers from another culture arrive, intent on seizing their natural resources and enslaving them.
After the initial uprising at Wushe, Mona Rudao faces an unwinnable guerrilla war against the militarily superior Japanese plus fierce rival Seediq clans. He and his followers must fight ... See full summary »
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During the Japanese rule of Taiwan, the Seediq were forced to lose their own culture and give up their faith. Men were subject to harsh labor and kept from traditional hunting; whereas women had to serve the Japanese policemen and their families by doing the household work and giving up their traditional weaving work. Above all, they were forbidden to tattoo their faces. And these tattoos were seen as the Seediq's traditional belief to transform themselves into Seediq Bale ("true humans"). Mona Rudao, the protagonist, witnessed the repression by the Japanese over a period of 30 years. Sometime between autumn and winter 1930, when the slave labor is at its harshest, a young Seediq couple are married and a joyful party is thrown. At the same time, a newly appointed Japanese policeman goes on his inspection tour to this tribe. Mona Rudao's first son, Tado Mona, offers wine to the policeman with gusto, but is in return beaten up because his hands were considered not clean enough. With ... Written by
Taiwan's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. To meet Academy regulations, the four-and-half-hour full version of the diptych was submitted as one entry. See more »
Dakis, when you die, are you entering a Japanese shrine, or the heavenly home of our ancestors? Are you Dakis or Hanaoka Ichiro?
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WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: SEEDIQ BALE is a home-grown historical action epic from Taiwan, featuring the story of an Aboriginal tribe who rise up against their Japanese oppressors during the early 20th century. It starts off on a rather dodgy note, asking the viewer to be interested in and accept as protagonist a man, Mona Rudao, who is introduced to the viewer when he kills and steals from some innocent tribesmen. Thankfully things then jump forward twenty years or so, and it all becomes straightforward.
The first thing to note is that I saw the international cut of this film, in which two parts are condensed down into one whole. While I enjoyed it on a superficial level, I have to say that there were too many problems with it for me to want to seek out the full version. The main issue I had is that the main tribe of characters are completely unsympathetic. They're headhunters, and when the Japanese describe them as 'savages' you tend to agree with them. I'm afraid I was on the side of the Japanese throughout in this one.
Elsewhere, the film is ridiculously one-sided in showing the Japanese to be a cowardly and easily-beaten foe, except when the text comes up at the end you see that things were completely different to the fantasy portrayed here. I did like the look of the film, although it's variously influenced by the likes of APOCALYPTO, LAST OF THE MOHICANS, BRAVEHEART, THE LAST SAMURAI, and BANG RAJAN, without ever quite giving the viewer a flavour of its own.
The action is quite well done, however, although marred by cheap CGI as is the case with so many eastern films these days. The scene in which the tribe rises up to attack the Japanese garrison is the highlight, really bloodthirsty and hair-raising stuff. But in the end, the lack of likable characters and the sheer ridiculousness of some moments (like the bratty kid running amok with the heavy weaponry) stopped me enjoying it too much.
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