20 Films you cannot miss at the 21st Taipei Film Festival

taipei2019filmsaWe present a list of twenty films you cannot miss at the 21st Taipei Film Festival, which will take place from June 27th until July 13th in Taipei, Taiwan.

3 Days 2 Nights

3 Days 2 Nights by Lin Hao-pu – Taiwan | 2018 – 80 minutes

Xiaoyue finds that her mother has been working for a long time away from home when she receives the apples sent from her mother. Just entering her puberty, Xiaoyue comes from a new immigrant family from Vietnam. She is laughed at and bullied in school because her old father makes a living as a scrap collector. The rebellious Biyan always stands out for Xiaoyue. She even plans a three-day journey to see her mother with Xiaoyue. Ms. Chen is faced with a dilemma. She is going to retire but the after-school tutorial class in the community is the only place for her to care her students. For Xiaoyue and her friend Biyan, her class is their hope. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

July 6th | Saturday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 1 | 12:00 pm
July 9th | Tuesday | Spot HUashan Cinema A 1 | 15:30 pm


A Long Goodbye

A Long Goodbye by Nakano Ryota – Japan | 2019 – 127 minutes

When retired teacher Shohei begins to show signs of unusual memory loss, his wife Yoko calls her daughters Mari and Fumi home to see their father. A party is held for the 70th birthday of Shohei, but what is told to his daughters, who haven’t all gathered together for a long time, is the fact that their strict father has contracted dementia. Confused about the situation of their father losing his memory day after day, the women can’t get a grasp on this new version of their father. But as time passes, the family comes to terms with Shohei’s illness. They discover that there can still be joy, happiness and love with the man they call dad. A “lovely memory” that everyone in their family has forgotten, is still living in Shohei. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

July 5th | Friday | Shin Kong Cinemas 2 | 19:00 pm
July 6th | Saturday | Shin Kong Cinema 2 | 13:10 pm



Alpha, The Right to Kill by Brillante Mendoza
Philippines | 2018 – 94 minutes

Set against the backdrop of the Philippines Government’s controversially prosecuted war on illegal drugs, a SWAT-led police force launches an operation to arrest Abel, one of the biggest and most notorious drug lords in Manilla. Police Officer Espino and Elijah, a small-time pusher turned informant, provide the intelligence for the operation which quickly escalates into a violent and heavily-armed confrontation in the slums between the SWAT and Abel’s gang. Before the investigators arrive at the crime scene, Espino and Elijah walk off with Abel’s backpack full of money and methamphetamine. This gesture of survival for one and corruption for the other will soon set off a dangerous series of events, both of them risking their reputations, families and lives in the process. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

July 7th | Sunday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 22:10 pm
July 9th | Tuesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 17:10 pm
July 11th | Thursday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 18:00 pm



Balangiga: Howling Wilderness by Khavn – Philippines | 2018 – 112 minutes

1901, Balangiga. Eight-year-old Kulas flees town with his grandfather and their carabao to escape General Smith’s “Kill and Burn” order. He finds an infant amid a sea of corpses and names him Bola. Misfortune after misfortune befalls the traveling group. Kulas’ grandfather succumbs to a snake bite, and an American ambushes the two children, killing their carabao and forcing them into servitude. Kulas and Bola escape with what little is left of their provisions. They live off the forest as best as they can, struggling to survive the American occupation. This story is shot simply and starkly: no armies thundering across plains, no generals plotting each other’s demise, no grand declarations of patriotism—just the story of a child trying to make it to the next day and town alive. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

July 5th | Friday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 2 | 19:10 pm
July 7th | Sunday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 2 | 11:30 am
July 10th | Wednesday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 2 | 16:20 pm


Blue Hour

Blue Hour by Hakota Yuko – Japan | 2018 – 92 minutes

Sunada, a 30-year-old married woman trapped in her TV commercial director career in Tokyo and her exhausting love relationship, goes on a homecoming journey in the company of her strikingly cheerful friend, Kiyoura. In a bittersweet reunion with her alienated family, she is confronted with her childhood memories of freedom and yearnings that she has left behind in her provincial hometown. Something inside Sunada starts to change in the dreamlike “blue hour,” the short period of twilight in the morning and evening when the color of the world turns blue. Hakota Yuko makes her feature film debut with an original script based on her own experience. She captures raw emotions mixed with reality and fantasy as she depicts natural scenery and memory of people through children’s eyes. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

June 29th | Saturday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 13:30 pm
July 2nd | Tuesday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 14:10 pm
July 10th | Wednesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 19:40 pm


Dad's Suit

Dad’s Suit by Hong Po-hao – Taiwan | 2018 – 95 minutes

Chin-Mao is in his eighties and lives alone in Pingxi. His daughter Yu-Chen and his son Yi-Cheng are having a quarrel about whether to send him to a nursing home. Although getting tired of living, Chin-Mao still worries about his grandson, Kai-Kai. But when Chin-Mao finally ends up in a nursing home, not even Kai-Kai’s wedding can make him less depressed. He wants to return to Pingxi and prepares for his last days in his life. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

July 7th | Sunday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 1 | 18:40 pm
July 9th | Tuesday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 1 | 18:00 pm


Heavy Craving

Heavy Craving by Hsieh Pei-ju – Taiwan | 2019 – 90 minutes

“Ms. Dinosaur”, JIANG YING JUAN, a big woman with a warm heart who loves to cook. Her plus-sized figure is often frowned upon. Her mother asks her to lose weight, her neighbor laughs at her, and strangers give her unwanted attention when merely riding a bus. One day, a delivery man saves her from a harassment. Encouraged by him, Jiang finally makes up her mind to lose weight. However, she struggles with the slimming center’s aggressive weight loss plan. When losing not only her health but her passion for cooking, Jiang starts to question the meaning and the definition of the so-called “better self…” (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

June 30th | Sunday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 13:40 pm
July 7th | Sunday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 1 | 13:00 pm


House of Hummingbird

House of Hummingbird by Bora Kim
South Korea, USA | 2018 – 138 minutes

Set against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994, a lonely 14-year-old Eunhee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness wherever she may find it. Deprived of attention from her family, she roams the neighborhood with her best friend and apprehensively experiments with her emergent sexuality. When Young-ji, a new teacher, arrives, she becomes the first adult Eunhee feels really understands her. House of Hummingbird, a lyrical portrait of teenaged uncertainty and insecurity, tries to render the atmosphere of 90’s Seoul and uses this time and place to reflect changes in Eunhee’s personal life. In her broken world tinged with subtle beauty, Eunhee’s search for love – familial, romantic, and platonic – leads her to ask questions that the world does not answer. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

June 29th | Saturday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 18:50 pm
July 4th | Thursday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 18:20 pm


Last Night

Last Night I Saw You Smiling by Kavich Neang
Cambodia, France | 2019 – 78 minutes

The White Building, originally known as the Municipal Apartments, was built one decade after Cambodia’s independence and amid a movement of New Khmer Architecture. The housing block bore witness to a tremendous series of events: the young nation’s Golden Age, a traumatic breakdown under a radical regime, decades of cultural revival centered within its walls, and the rapid pace of capitalist development that would ultimately lead to its demise. When director Kavich Neang learned the 493 families of the White Building, the architectural landmark in Phnom Penh where he had lived since birth, agreed to vacate for a condo development, he decided to document the building’s final days. He followed his own family and neighbors as they packed belongings, shared memories and anxieties, and eventually moved out before the building’s total destruction. When demolition comes, only memories remain. (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

July 5th | Friday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 2 | 21:30 pm
July 9th | Tuesday | Spot Huashan Cinema A 2 | 14:40 pm
July 10th | Wednesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 12:40 pm



Maggie by Yi Ok-seop – South Korea | 2018 – 89 minutes

The discovery of X-ray photographs of sexual intercourse causes trouble at a hospital. The hospital administration is more interested in who might be in the X-rays than who takes them. A nurse in the orthopaedics department, YEO Yoon-young, is writing her resignation because she thinks it might be her. But when she arrives at the hospital, no one else is there except the deputy. While this hospital commotion is going on, strange sinkholes start to appear in Seoul. Young laborers, including Yoon-young’s boyfriend, are mobilized to fill these sudden sinkholes. Yoon-young finds a small sinkhole on the curb and throws in a memo into the hole, written, “The first thing we have to do when we fall into a hole is to escape from it, not to dig in deeper.” (Taipei Film Festival’s Website)

June 30th | Sunday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 19:40 pm
July 1st | Monday | Shin Kong Cinemas 2 | 16:20 pm
July 9th | Tuesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 19:20 pm


To see the second part of this list please follow the next link: PART 2

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