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Oil-Coated Umbrellas: Meinung

Director :
Year :


  • Taiwan
Color :
Running Time :
30 min
  • 16mm
  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Generation
  • Youth
  • Senior


In the 1980s, people in Meinung still kept the traditional, agricultural life style. In those days, people’s life is dictated by simplicity, frugality and hard work. They rose at sunrise and rested at sunset. From season to season, they alternated their crops and handmade artifacts, living on tobacco, rice and oil-paper umbrellas. Rice-field and tobacco’s smoke once symbolized fortunes in Meinung.

Oil paper umbrellas, the best shelter from rain, was once the major source of income for people in Meinung. But since the 80s, Meinung has been rapidly industrialized and commercialized, with mass-produced umbrellas replaceing handmade ones. Meinung’s oil paper umbrellas, once a daily life necessity, now serves as a mere reminder of the good old days. They are still made in the traditional way with great patience and care. Though the umbrella is no longer of practical use, the way the crafts men make it never changes. Step by step, they carefully make the bamboo frame and skillfully paint the oil paper. We see their life-long commitment to their crafts and tradition.


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Director Statement

"To a filmmaker like me, who would pay attention to any grain of sand and any drop of dew, choosing a topic presents a major difficulty in filmmaking. I want to capture every aspect of the land, regardless its meaning, shape or color. My works value realism over drama, genuine emotions over packaging. This film is a portrayal of the agricultural society in which people still keep their traditions. Hopefully their traditions can be passed down to their offspring.

Fortunately, the images in the film seem to be worth my efforts. Nevertheless, the perfection of the images in the film can never be compared to the beauty I have perceived in those people I filmed." -- Ping-Chung yu


source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Festivals & Awards

1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - About the Island: Taiwan Documentary Retrospective
1998 Taiwna International Documentary Festival


  • Director
  • Cinematographer
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