The Hole (洞) & Let It Be (無米樂)

The Hole (洞) & Let It Be (無米樂)

Sunday, April 1, 2007 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Auditorium (Room 101), Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 6511

Free and open to the public. All films will be screened in DVD format in Chinese with English subtitles.

The Hole (洞)
Directed by Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮), 1998, 95 minutes

The final days of the year 1999 prove to be a bleak and chaotic time in Taipei. A widespread virus, “Taiwan Fever”, has crippled the city, reducing its victims into exhibiting unusual, cockroach-like behavior. Quarantined areas have been established, and the uninfected residents are repeatedly encouraged through news broadcasts to evacuate into government arranged temporary housing until the spread of the virus can be controlled. But some defiant residents refuse to abandon their homes, and as a last resort, the government has threatened to cut off the water supply and garbage collection to these quarantined areas on January 1, 2000. A young man and his downstairs neighbor have decided to remain in their dilapidated tenements and ride out the figurative (and literal) storm. One day, a plumber knocks on the young man’s door, looking for the source of a leak in the apartment below. The man leaves his apartment to open his small grocery store and feed an abandoned cat in the desolate town market, only to return home and find that the plumber has left a gaping hole through the concrete slab floor into the woman’s downstairs apartment. Initially, the intrusive young man sees the hole as a convenient mechanism for observing his unsuspecting neighbor: mopping the floors from the water leak, stockpiling toilet paper in a spare room, eating instant noodle soup. However, as the isolation of their oppressive environment continues to erode their psyche, the hole becomes their only source for human contact - their last, desperate means of connection.

Let It Be (無米樂)
Directed by Yen Lan-chuan (顏蘭權) & Juang Yi-tseng (莊益增), 2005, 110 minutes

What do you think of when you think of a grain of rice? Let It Be is a documentary that records the daily labor and lives of three elderly rice farmers in Tainan County’s Houbi Township. In the heart of Taiwan’s rice-producing country, they have passed their days shedding a bead of sweat to match each grain of rice. The film depicts their lifestyles which have changed little over the last half-century. Observing their toil at work and the way they go about their lives allows the viewer to appreciate the wisdom that imbues their lives and the fascinating dynamics of their relationships with each other, their animals, the gods, the weather, and the land. Between the vastness of the heavens and the joys and sorrows of the earth and its inhabitants, each farmer fulfills his unique destiny. (2004 First Prize in “Taiwan International Documentary Festival”; 2004 “Audience’s Choice Award” in “South Taiwan Film and Video Festival”; 2004 “Excellent Documentary Film Award” of “Golden Grain Awards”)

This film was provided as part of the “Window on Taiwan” documentary series from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York.

Special thanks to the Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan for their support of this program.

This film series is part of the special events planned around the upcoming international conference TAIWAN AND ITS CONTEXTS.

For More Information

Co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University, the Yale Taiwan Student Association, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan