Taiwan (96 mins, director: Yung-hui Tsui)
Best Newcomer winner at the Golden Horse Film Festival, Tsui Yung-hui's charming debut film mixes music and drama to tell the uplifting tale of an Indigenous children's troupe training for a national dance competition.

An original story based on real-life experiences, this wonderful, family-friendly musical drama centres on Manawei (Chung Chia-chun, who won the prestigious Golden Horse Award for Best New Performer), a young boy from the Tao tribe on Taiwan’s outlying Lanyu, or Orchid Island. Yearning to reunite with his father in Kaohsiung city, Manawei joins his elementary school’s dance troupe, led by a thirtysomething teacher Zhong-Xun Yu, as the students prepare for their journey to the National Indigenous Dance Competition.

With its use of traditional Tao songs and a cast of almost all non-professional actors from the local Yami people, Tsui’s winning debut foregrounds themes of cultural identity, family responsibility and the need to preserve Indigenous experience, while being funny, sweet and incredibly enjoyable.

“Tsui’s impressive feature is deftly structured to inform audiences outside Taiwan about the challenges facing an Indigenous people while also spinning a thoroughly entertaining and accessible ‘let’s put on a show’ yarn.” – Variety


9 August 201911:00amSofitel Melbourne On Collins AuditoriumPast event
15 August 20191:30pmSofitel Melbourne On Collins AuditoriumPast event


Language: Mandarin/Taiwanese, with English subtitles
Genre: Drama
Classroom discussion points: Coming of age, use of folklore, family relationships, sacrifice, Indigenos culture
Age suitability advice: Infrequent mild coarse language
MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 12+

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