Taiwan’s democracy is the envy of Chinese people all over the world. At the same time, when this two-party system– “blue”(Kuomingtang) and “green”(Democratic Progressive Party)– get at each other’s throats, it seems to cast a dark cloud over this beacon of advancing democratization. How does the young generation, many of them first time voters, feel about the political environment they’ve inherited? Will they allow for their political differences to drive a deeper wedge into the Taiwanese society?
A year and a half before Taiwan’s 2012 Presidential Election I gathered a group of young people from across the blue and green spectrum to participate in a political dialogue. Although they’re from opposing parties, they were willing to talk politics. Through these deliberately arranged dialogues, what sparks will fly?
Through these dialogues, those who belonged to a certain party line began to doubt their decisions; those who were apathetic experienced a political awakening and embraced voting as their civic duty; those who thought they were standing on the side of justice realized they’ve been preaching to the choir; or those who have been paying lip service finally decided to act for the cause they believed in. In addition to this group of young people, we’ve also arranged for representatives from both parties, as well as exchange students from Hong Kong and China to join this debate on Taiwan’s unique democratic environment. How do the varying views contribute to the blue and green young people of Taiwan?
No matter blue or green, what we can see in these young people is the color of uncertainty and the shades of grey as they navigate their way through political awakening and assertions. We hope this experimental dialogue not only opens up for cross-aisle understanding, but also promotes a reflection on what it means to be blue or green and the value behind casting that one vote.
About the Director
FU Yue graduated in 2008 with a Master’s degree in Documentary from the Tainan National University of Arts and a Bachelor’s degree from National Chenchi University. After graduating, FU worked mainly in documentary film production and academic research dissemination. But she never gave up on making the kinds of films she wants to make, which mainly explore young people’s ideals and attitudes towards Taiwan’s political and economic landscape. She believes a good documentary film prompts the audience to ask more questions, rather than providing the audience with the answers.
2011 123, Strawberry Man
2010 Millionaire in Checkfun
2006 Socrates: Strawberry?
From the Director
Dialogue Between Blue and Green is my second documentary film that examines Taiwan’s electoral process. In the first film I followed two families from different party lines. The film tried to explore the political ideologies of the generation before us. This time I followed a group of young people where 80% of them voted for the very first time in their lives at the 2012 Presidential Election in Taiwan.
Many of my friends can’t understand my fever for documenting Taiwanese politics. Simply put, I am a politic junkie. While most young Taiwanese find politics a boring subject, I treat it like a gem that’s worth time and energy to discover. My father came from Malaysia to attend college in Taiwan and decided to stay on after he graduated. My mother is Chinese from Indonesia and came to Taiwan when she was nine. Their upbringing informed their common understanding of politics, and both disdain the Democratic Progressive Party. But I didn’t begin to understand politics until I was much older. And perhaps of my parents’ ethnic backgrounds, I came to see how a person’s ethnicity could be a misguidance in their political affinity and define their political identity in Taiwan. And when ethnicity plays a part in forming one’s political ideology, the political climate of Taiwan is then shrouded in subjectivity.
I am concerned for Taiwan’s political development and I find many who also have dreams of a political reform. However, I also have many friends who are apathetic and find other things more important to care about. And slogans like “even if you avoid politics, politics will find you,” or “surpass two party system, create a truly civil Taiwanese society” have become clichés. And then there are those who find politics to be for the intellectual or economic elite. For your average citizen concerns over relationships, education, work, career, entertainment, religion far outweigh politics. So why am I using precious time to make a film about politics, and afterwards to spend more time discussing the political future of Taiwan?
The divide between blue and green is not a gap I can fill with one documentary film. But I believe worrying about what to have for dinner, where to go on vacation, what movie to see, whether to settle down and have children, and all the trivialness of life don’t happen in a vacuum, nor is how we live our lives and our political ideals mutually exclusive. Politics actually allow us to see the interesting and valuable aspects to life. And of course I still have that hope that politics will not always be just blue or green.
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Film Festivals and Award
※The 10th China Independent Film Festival 2013
※FIRST International Film Festival, Best Documentary 2013