2008-10-03 62 Years and 6500 Miles in Between
Through family interviews, historical footage, and personal memories, Taiwanese American filmmaker Anita Chang weaves together an initimate view into the life story of her 100-year-old grandmother Ama. A headstrong political activist, Ama earned the nickname Democratic Grandma by encouraging voting, participating in protests and demonstrations, and fighting passionately for the better part of a century for Taiwanese independence from authoritarianism. In 1994, the Taipei Womens Rights Organization cemented Amas place in political history by publishing her award-winning autobiography. But in later years, Amas health deteriorated as she suffered a debilitating fall and fourth paralyzing stroke. Before Amas inevitable entrance into a full-care facility, Chang took a Hi-8 camera and traveled to Taiwan to separate fact from fiction and reconstruct an acclaimed political life from the viewpoint of the ailing Ama and those most closely associated to her. In doing so, Chang confronts the challenges of hazy memories and bridges cultural, geographic and linguistic distances to uncover hidden truths and tell the tale of 20th century post-colonial Taiwan, a nation that only saw the lifting of Martial Law 20 years ago.
Filmmaker Bio: Anita Wen-Shin Chang, born to Taiwanese immigrants, is an independent filmmaker and film teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco State University. She is currently a visiting faculty member at the Department of Language and Communication of Indigenous Peoples at National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan. Her latest film, Joyful Life, is broadcasting in Taiwan.
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