International Studies & Programs

Film Collection

The Asian Studies Center has an extensive collection of fiction and non‑fiction films available to borrow. Visit the center or contact us for more information.

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Matsu - Taiwan's Guardian Goddess Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 027min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: N/A

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Description: Matsu, Goddess of the sea, was not a fictitious character; she was a beautiful young woman with a real name whose benevolence and heroic deeds in saving people's lives made her a goddess. The worship of Matsu has become a tremendously popular practice in Taiwan-she is the most worshipped deity on the island, and a majority of the island's temples are dedicated to her. Through pilgrimages and parades by believers, this documentary displays the great respect for Matsu held by her followers, allowing viewers to experience the goddess' importance in the people daily lives.

Taiwan Festival Troupes - Coming Together in Competition Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 025min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: N/A

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Description: "Battle array" is a traditional Taiwanese form of street art whose performers must have a good background in martial arts. After undergoing several hundred years of history and various social changes, battle array has developed into a program for showing respect to Heaven and entertaining the gods. This documentary introduces the origin of battle array, including its introduction into Taiwan with ancestral immigrants, how it took roots amongst farm villages, and its use by farmers as a form of physical activity during the off-season. With its lively framing and rich hues, the film depicts the dazzling colors of the lives of common folks. It also draws viewers into it so well that they feel as if they were personally performing the battle array at various festivals and temple fairs, touring small towns and villages while showing their respect to the gods.

An Index of Culture - The Museums of Taiwan Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 025min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: N/A

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Description: A good index of a country's lifestyle and cultural level can be found in its museums. Although Taiwan has a documented history of only 400 years, historical and geographical factors have made it a melting pot for many peoples and cultures. So in Taiwan's many privates and public museums one can see the cultural essence that makes Taiwan great and unique. In recent years, Taiwan's museums have made astonishing advances both in number and in quality. They have extended their basic role of exhibition, collection, education and organized events into the areas of life-long learning and out-of-work activities, and turned themselves into links between peoples and cultures all over the world. Whether being traditional or modern, being mobile or static, or being a means for the expression of the art or portrayal of life, Taiwan's museums have served its purposes. They are an index of Taiwan's cultural achievement that reflects the diversity and vitality of maritime culture.

Taiwan's National Palace Museum in Transition Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 025min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: N/A

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Description: The entire collection of Taiwan's National Palace Museum contains over 650,000 objects of art and serves as a sanctuary for precious masterpieces and the treasure house of human civilization. The marvelous story of this national treasure's move to Taiwan is testament to the diligent effort by its people to preserve the legacies of human civilization. This story also depicts the museum's 50 years of history in Taiwan, from preservation, to research, to educational outreach programs, to digitalizing the art collection. Take a peek at the ongoing changes at the museum, such as privatization and active efforts to bring the cultural relics out of the secluded vaults of the palace to the people. The National Palace Museum's integration with society acknowledges the localization of Taiwanese culture and represents the limitless possibilities of a Taiwan's knowledge-based economy. Incorporating cutting-edge technology with art and through the Internet, the museum is able to bring these national treasures out of its protected sanctuary, allowing Taiwan and the world to step, hand-in-hand, into the new millennium.

This Island Our Home - The Four Seasons of Taiwan Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 027min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: N/A

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Description: This Island Our Home-The Four Seasons of Taiwan contains no narration, but rather, relies on the serene music of Mr. Huang Shih to interpret the natural beauty of Taiwan's four seasons. Performed by the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra, the music intertwines with scenes of Taiwan's magnificent mountains, deep valleys, surging seas, and diligent people. Together, these sounds and visuals express how the cultures, customs, and natural ecology of the island have affected the interdependence and feelings between both man and nature and heaven and earth.

Taiwan's Festivals: Link with the Past, Bridges to the Future Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 028min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: Chinese English French Spanish GERMAN Japanese Russian

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Description: A rich and complex medley of traditional festivals celebrated by the indigenous and Chinese peoples of Taiwan forms an integral part of life on the island, with modernity having brought with it some new celebrations of its own. Every day, festivals are being held somewhere in Taiwan. Transcending ethnic barriers, these festivals imbue vitality and structure into people's lives and cultures and help them greet the future with unabashed enthusiasm and boundless hope.

A Night of Magic, the Lantern Festival in Taiwan Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 045min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: Chinese English French Spanish GERMAN Japanese Russian

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Description: An old Chinese saying tells us that "the Lunar New Year isn't really over until the Lantern Festival has passed," and it is on this night every spring that Taiwan literally explodes into a dazzling spectacle of religious and festive fervor. The Lantern Festival marks not only a change of season, but also an important passing point in people's hearts. Tens of thousands of lanterns and firecrackers are lit all across Taiwan, sending the island population's prayers for blessings, good fortune, and wealth to the many gods that look over them. The Lantern Festival celebrations comprise a myriad of enchanting and sometimes extraordinary rituals, the meaning and origins of which are explained in this film. Join us on a unique journey through the passion and mystery of this magical night.

HHH: A Portrait of Hou Hsiao- Hsien Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length: 091min
Type of Film: Documentary
Language: English

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Description: The film discusses the art of filmmaking and the acclaimed filmmaker, Hou Hsiao-Hsien--considered by many to be the greatest Taiwanese filmmaker of all time.

Traditional Marionettes Country/Region of Focus: Taiwan
Length:
Type of Film: Educational
Language: Chinese with English subtitles

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Description: Learn about marionettes in Taiwan.

Beautiful Boxer Country/Region of Focus: Thailand
Length: 118min
Type of Film: Feature
Language: Thai with English Subtitles

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Description: A Thai man (Asanee Suwan) who wants to have a sex-change operation becomes a champion kickboxer.