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.
Set in 1980s Taiwan, after the end of military dictatorship, Monga centers around the troubled lives of five boys coming of age together. The narrator of the story, Mosquito, is invited to ... See full summary »
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 »
The film begins with a hunt by a mountain river in Taiwan. Two Bunun men are hunting a boar, but they are attacked by a group led by young Mona Rudao of Seediq people. Mona Rudao invades ... See full summary »
A group of close friends who attend a private school, and they all have a debilitating crush on the sunny star pupil, Shen Jiayi. The only member of the group who claims not to is Ke Jingteng, but he ends up love her as well.
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
One of Taiwan's biggest ever films today, probably the most expensive ever made and looks set to be the highest earning to date. The story of Seediq Bale, based on the Wushe Incident is split into two segments, the first being entitled The Sun Flag (tai-yang qi) and the second, The Rainbow Bridge (cai-hong qiao). Seediq Bale is the best looking Taiwanese production to date, it seems on par with the majority of action films coming straight out of Hollywood. The battle scenes are impressive, they're fast paced with a lot of of excitement and thrills, there's explosions, blood splatters and much like you'd expect from headhunters, there's a few heads rolling.
Story: The story moves quickly despite the movie being close to 2 and a half hours long. There is a small bit of background and lead up to the Japanese arriving but not a great deal. When the Japanese arrive it also doesn't seem that much happens in the story, it doesn't give you complex characters or anything you must grasp or understand. It's a simple story but flows well and entertains.
Characters: Character building and general development is a problem in this movie, although it is entertaining with no boredom from start to finish it doesn't have much depth to it. You must take the characters on face value as you don't really get a sense of who they are. There is one character who can be classed as the lead but you even don't get to know who he is. Throughout the movie you're introduced to numerous characters, both on the aboriginal side and the Japanese side, yet you don't get to know more than the basics of who they are.
Directing: Te-Sheng Wei has previous had a bit hit in Taiwan with Cape No.7 which guaranteed him the funding for this movie. But still his style is not flawless, at times he comes across as still being an amateur with some very strange shots and some even more bizarre cuts. More than one scene had him building up, suspense and emotion was all there and then he suddenly cuts to something completely different. It kills the feeling but also provides a kind of shock.
Also its probably worth having a little background on headhunting traditions before watching this film, without understanding about their culture at times you might just find yourself rooting for the Japanese side.
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, sure it could've been better but at the same time it could've been a lot worse. It's receiving a lot of praise in Taiwan with this movie smashing records and the follow up looking set to break even more. One things for sure, I'll be booking my tickets for the second instalment.
57 of 72 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?