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Songs of Pasta'ay

Director :
Director :

Country: 

  • Taiwan
Color :
Color
Running Time :
60 min
  • 16mm
  • Ethnology
  • Folk
  • Religion

Synopsis

The Pasta’ay, which means the festival of the legendary little people, is a significant ritual held every other year in the Saisiat aborigine group in Taiwan.

Every ten years, they hold the Great Ritual. This film focuses on the Great Ritual in 1986. It tries to convey the Saisiat people’s affection for and belief in the legendary little people. At the same time, the film brings in to light Saisiat people’s ambivalence towards tourist invasion, and their dilemma of being caught between tradition and modernization. Structured by the Pasta’ay songs’ movements, the film breaks down to 15 chapters. It carefully juxtaposes the visual with the aural elements, which are conveyed in the conceptual dichotomy between “the real” and “the artificial”.

Copyright © HU Tai-li. All Rights Reserved.

Director Statement

In the filming of Songs of the Pasta'ay,  I was obsessed with the rhymes, unique verbal expression, refrains and the cadence of the ritual songs. I was trying to see of it is possible to integrate the songs into images. I therefore used the movements of the songs to structure the film. The film attempts to reveal the ambivalent bonding between Sai-hsia people and short people, as well as the relationship between Sai-hsia and tourists and government officials. As you will see, the ritual is a means by which Sai-hsia unites the tribe and resolves their internal conflicts. The convention of authoritative narration, however, is abandoned, so the audience can have their own interpretation. In fact, the significance of the Pasta'ay cannot yet be fully grasped and my exploration is just a beginning. My perspective will probably be changed if more research is done. All I wanted is to capture Sai-hsia people's emotions and expressions, and leave to the audience more space for imagination.

(Excerpt from the article "The Projection of Ethnographical Film: Visual Anthropology in Taiwan" by Hu, in The Review of Ethnography, Academia Sinica. Vol. 71, 1991). 

Festivals & Awards

1989 Margaret Mead Film Festival
1989 Margaret Mead Film Festival
1990 Worldfest Houston International Film Festival - Gold Special Jury Award
1990 Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival
1990 Festival International Jean Rouch
1990 Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival
1990 Worldfest Houston International Film Festival
1990 Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival
1990 XIXe Festival International du Film d`Art. et Pedagogique
1990 Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival
1992 Southeast Asian Film Festival, Amsterdam
1992 EARTH VISION Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival
1992 EARTH VISION Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival
1992 Southeast Asian Film Festival, Amsterdam
2007 Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival
2007 Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival

Team

  • Director
  • Editor
  • Sound Designer
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Editor
  • Script Writer
  • Cinematographer
  • Sound Designer
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