Marks Scholarship

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      As we move further into the developed world, we must call to mind what steps man has taken to arrive at this precarious position. A position which attempts to balance promoting freedom while protecting livelihood. Hunter College’s Chinese Flagship was selected by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office to be a part of the New York Celebration of “Martial Law and After: Reflection of the 30th Anniversary of the End of Martial Law in Taiwan Cinema” The anniversary celebrates the end of thirty-eight years of martial law in Taiwan (1949-1897) with a film festival. Every Wednesday for the last three weeks, students, faculty, and anyone interested in Taiwanese film joined us to Film Series Img 1watch, reflect upon, and feel the cinematic effects of Taiwan’s past and how it has shaped its future. Besides Hunter, the memorialization was celebrated at Columbia University and New York University, with a total of eight films screened in the last month. The movies shown at Hunter during this festival included Connection by Fate (超級公民), Banana Paradise (香蕉天堂), and The Forth Portrait (第四張畫), all of which are narratives painted in Taiwan’s past, and currently hailed as excellent films from Taiwan Cinema’s New Wave Movement.

      Besides hosting the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of New York, the Flagship also had the honor of meeting the director of Connection by Fate (超級公民), Wan Ren. After watching the movie describe by Ren as the “shadows of men” and “shadows of a plot” move across the screen, Wan Ren further commented by offering his thoughts with Prof. Joel Zuker, Prof. Fang Dai, Prof. Ru-Shou Robert Chen, and Prof. Chun-Chi Wang by opening a panel discussion with the curious staff and students in attendance. We graciously thank Wan Ren and our friends at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office for kicking off the celebration with such an impressive movie followed by meaningful and speculative commentary by the panel and audience.
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      The Wednesday after showing Connection by Fate (超級公民), students and guests arrived at Hunter to see Banana Paradise (香蕉天堂). While some found the pieces of the movie difficult to watch, especially those detailing on the effects of mental illness, all were affected by the relevant of enduring hardship for friends and family. After the movie, the audience enjoyed moon cakes, since the screening fell on the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrated by Chinese around the world.

      The final showing at Hunter College was The Forth Portrait (第四張畫). A film which depicts the haunting effects of a crumbling family on a young boy. Although the movie might have left our audience a bit sad, the encouraging moral again prevails, reassuring us that persistent efforts will always lead to a better tomorrow.

      We, here at Hunter, sincerely thank all those who have been a part of the making of such a successful film festival. From those who gave us this opportunity at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, to those who made it possible, thank you to the audience and staff who helped build an environment conducive for pleasant viewing, meditative reflection, and great food!

By Anthony Edwards (Hunter Chinese Flagship Student)

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