Finish year

The Man behind the Book

Director :
Year :


  • Taiwan
Color :
Running Time :
103 min
  • Portrait
  • Art
  • Culture
  • Music


Every night the novelist is fighting with himself in a confined space, taking out soil from his heart like he is excavating a ditch. By keeping track of a young novelist, The Man behind the Book is connecting the various pieces of Wang Wen-xin’s literary career. From the dense rows of book shelves in the library to the unevenly lined-up trees and forked roads, his sharp sensitiveness to art and personal opinions, just like sculpting the core of spirituality, translates thoughts into signals precisely, and eventually turns them into words. Wang Wen-xin is a figure in the literary circle who worships words like religion, treats writing valuably, and exchanges deepness with slowness.

Wang Wen-xin (1939- ) founded the literary magazine Modern Literature with his classmates from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University, including Bai Xien-yung, Ouyang Zhu, and Chen Ruo-xi. His iconic piece Family Catastrophe was published in 1973, and was considered a “revolutionary and subversive” work. The famous scholar Yen Yuan-shu felt the book was “one of the few masterpieces in modern Chinese novels for its innovation of language, strength of experiential style, reality of interpersonal description, meticulousness of selection of details, and delicacy and euphemism of the tone”. Backed against the Sea, that took him 25 years to complete, once again caught the attention of the literary circle after the first and final episodes were published. It is widely agreed that this work pushes the beauty of modernism to its limit. Wang Wen-xin is writing a new book at the moment, but the publishing date has yet to be confirmed. several important literature and culture debates in Taiwan since the 1960s.

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Director Statement

It depends on fate to shoot a documentary, and we were very lucky to have the opportunity to capture Wang Wenxing. Facing such a master, you were forced to try your very best to interpret and portray him with images. Then you found that your bag of tricks didn’t work nor suffice, so you humbly practiced your skills, hoping one day you could look at him square in the eye and have a couple fights with him, not so much a match as a student. Now, I’d like to share the fruit of the fight with the audience. I believe when they see the precious life landscape of Wang, a flash of insight will stay in their hearts.

Many thanks to the sponsor and the production team for giving me the opportunity to meet with a grand creative mind and to draw inspiration from it. I’m also grateful to them for leaving a great value to Taiwan with the films--“The Inspired Island—series of eminent writers from Taiwan.”

Copyright © Fisfisa Media. All Rights Reserved.

Festivals & Awards

2011 Taipei Film Festival - Press Award, Nominee of Taipei Awards --Documentaries
2011 Golden Horse Awards - Best Film Editing, Nominee of ”Best Documentary
2011 Hong Kong Asian Film Festival - Program: Taiwan Cinema Express
2012 Hangzhou Asian Film Festival - Program: Taiwan Prides
2012 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - Special Mention for Taiwan Award
2012 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - Merit Prize for Int'l Feature Length Competition


  • Director
  • Script Writer
  • Cinematographer
  • Cinematographer
  • Cinematographer
  • Cinematographer
  • Executive Producer
  • Sound Designer
  • Executive Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Animation Design
  • Animation Design
  • Animation Design
  • Producer
  • Line Producer
  • Line Producer
  • Line Producer
  • Executive Production
  • Production
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