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20 Documentaries you shouldn’t miss at the 12th Taiwan International Documentary Festival (Part 2)

I continue with my list of films that you shouldn’t miss at the 12th Taiwan International Documentary Festival which will take place from April 30th until May 9th, 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Selected films (Part 2)

Space Dogs by Elsa Kremser, Levin Peter – Austria, Germany | 2019 – 91 minutes
Section: International Competition

Laika, a stray dog, was the first living being sent into the outer space and a certain death. According to a legend, her ghost has returned to the Earth and roamed the streets of Moscow ever since. Interwoven with Soviet archive materials from the Space Race, this magical documentary is filmed at the eye level of a dog, following Laika’s poignant trail and accompanying her spiritual descendants, a pack of street dogs, on their poetic yet brutal adventures in today’s Moscow. (TIDF 2021)

Festival & Awards:
2019 Locarno Film Festival
2020 CPH:DOX

Screening Dates:
May 2nd, 2021 | Sunday | SPOT Huashan A 1 | 17:40 pm (Q&A Video)

Trailer:

Taking Back the Legislature by Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers – Hong Kong | 2020 – 47 minutes
Section: Salute! Independent Documentaries in Hong Kong and China

A storm was brewing in the early hours of 1 July 2019—the 22nd anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong. Facing the absurdity of the Hong Kong Government’s indoor flag-raising ceremony, protesters questioned the effectiveness of peaceful protest. They stormed the Legislative Council Complex as a last-ditch effort to ignite change in the Anti-ELAB Movement. Violent street clashes with the police continued deep into the night. (TIDF 2021)

Festival & Awards:
202 IDFA
2020 Hong Kong Indie Film Festival
2020 Best Documentary Nominees – Golden Horse Awards

Screening Dates:
April 30th, 2021 | Friday | Shon Kong Cinemas 3 | 16:40 pm
May 6th, 2021 | Thursday | Shon Kong Cinemas 3 | 17:30 pm
May 8th, 2021 | Saturday | Shon Kong Cinemas 3 | 13:30 pm (Q&A)

The Ashram Children: I Am No Body, I Have No Body by Jonathan Ofek – Israel | 2019 – 68 minutes
Section: International Competition

I grew up in an ashram, a spiritual hermitage in India, of which I had to keep silent. I was taught to dedicate my life to the Guru, so I could understand the ‘truth’ of life and become enlightened. About 20 years and a lot of therapy later, I set out on a journey to understand the secret I was forced to keep and to answer the questions I had throughout my life: Was I raised in a cult? What happened to the other ashram children? (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2019 Docaviv

Screening Dates:
May 2nd, 2021 | Sunday | SPOT Huashan A2 | 20:30 pm (Q&A Video)
May 5th, 2021 | Wednesday | SPOT Huashan A2 | 20:30 pm (Q&A Video)

Trailer:

The Black Tree by Máximo Ciambella, Damián Coluccio – Argentina | 2018 – 79 minutes
Section: International Competition

In an old myth, at the centre of the Earth is a black tree. Those who can reach it will be able to talk to the trees and break curses. Martín is an indigenous Qom shepherd in Argentina. His community, Santo Domingo, is threatened by corporate agriculture taking over their traditional territory. When Martín’s goats begin to die out without cause, in between assemblies and roadblocks, Martín must decide whether to respond to the black tree’s call. (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2018 FIPRESCI Award, Mar del Plata International Film Festival
2019 Sheffield Doc/Fest

Screening Dates:
April 30th, 2021 | Friday | SPOT Huashan A2 | 13:00 pm (Q&A Video)
May 3rd, 2021 | Monday | SPOT Huashan A2 | 15:50 pm (Q&A Video)

Trailer:

The Boiling Water LAMA by Adiong Lu – Taiwan | 2018 – 77 minutes
Section: Taiwan Competition

In the Tibetan village of Xiongtuo, Sichuan Province, China, resides the ‘Boiling Water Lama’. Every day, countless people from the major Tibetan regions travel across mountains to visit him, seeking solutions for their own lives. When the water on the stove comes to a full rolling boil, the believers waiting outside the hut takes off their shirts one by one, ready to hear the lama’s unique ‘answer’. (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2019 FIDMarseille
2020 Taipei Film Festival

Screening Dates:
May 3rd, 2021 | Monday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 18:30 pm
May 5th, 2021| Wednesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 18:00 pm (Q&A)

Trailer:

The Strangers by Myoung Sohee – South Korea | 2018 – 81 minutes
Section: Asian Vision Competiton

After encountering a series of setbacks in life, the filmmaker returned to her hometown, Chuncheon, South Korea, a place she was once desperate to forget and leave behind. She visited her hard-working mother and sought to untangle their complex mother-daughter relationship, while recapturing their family portrait in vanishing memories and spaces. (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2019 Busan International Film Festival
2019 FFD

Screening Dates:
May 2nd, 2021 | Sunday | Shin Kong Cinemas 3 | 15:50 pm (Q&A Video)
May 4th, 2021 | Tuesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 3 | 11:00 am (Q&A Video)

Trailer:

The Taste of Secrets by Guillaume Suon – Cambodia, France | 2019 – 110 minutes
Section: Asian Vision Competition

Guillaume SUON’s mother always refused to speak about her childhood during the Cambodian genocide. Seeking to understand her experiences, Guillaume and his brother began to film Antoine, a photographer and a grandson of Armenian genocide survivors, following him to the Middle East to photograph the ghosts of his ancestors. Antoine’s journey in turn paved the way for the brothers’ quest back to Cambodia—with their mother. (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2019 Busan International Film Festival
2020 TIHRFF

Screening Dates:
May 2nd, 2021 | Sunday | SPOT Huashan A1 | 19:50 pm (Q&A)
May 4th, 2021 | Tuesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 3 | 13:10 pm (Q&A Videos)

Trailer:

The Tree House by Truong Minh Quy – China, France, Germany, Singapore, Vietnam | 2019 – 84 minutes
Section: International Competition

In 2045, a man living on Mars examines footage brought back from his encounters with an indigenous community in the jungles of Vietnam. His thoughts drift from ritual burial practices, issues of identities, the politics and aesthetics of image-making, to the seen and unseen forces that shape cultures. Combining elements of science fiction and ethnography, The Tree House is a powerful exploration of how time and environment relate to our understanding of home. (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2019 Locarno Film Festival
2019 International Film Festival Rotterdam

Screening Dates:
May 1st, 2021 | Saturday | SPOT Huashan A2 | 11:00 am
May 3rd, 2021 | Monday | SPOT Huashan A2 | 13:30 pm

Trailer:

Turning 18 by Ho Chao-ti – Taiwan | 2018 – 88 minutes
Section: Taiwan Competition

Two teenage girls, both growing up in broken homes in rural Taiwan, lead their lives in completely different directions. Pei searches for hope in love, while Chen struggles to avoid her parents’ fate. As they approach the age of 18, the undercurrents of their lives nearly overwhelm them. Spanning over seven years, this is a story about abandonment, courage, and growth. It raises a universal question: How can an unloved life find the strength of her own? (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2018 Sheffield Doc/Fest
2019 Taipei Film Festival

Screening Dates:
May 3rd, 2021 | Monday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 20:30 pm (Q&A)
May 5th, 2021 | Wednesday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 12:30 pm (Q&A)

Trailer:

Your Turn by Eliza Capai – Brazil | 2019 – 93 minutes
Section: Contemporary Scenes

Your Turn depicts the Brazilian student movement from the protests of 2013 to the election of the new Brazilian president, Jair BOLSONARO, in 2018. Inspired by the collective voice of the movement itself, the documentary is narrated by three high school students, who represent central points of their struggle. The narrators’ jostling for space and time reveals the movement’s inner conflicts and demonstrates its complexity. (TIDF 2021)

Festivals & Awards:
2019 Berlinale
2019 Award of Excellence Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

Screening Dates:
May 7th, 2021 | Friday | Shin Kong Cinemas 1 | 13:20 pm
May 9th, 2021 | Sunday | Shin Kong Cinemas 3 | 16:30 pm

To see the first part of this list please go to: PART 1

For more information about this festival please go to: https://www.tidf.org.tw/en

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