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World On Air/Telling the Kinmen Story to the World Chinese director’s short film shortlisted for Oscar

oscarWhen the nomination list was announced on January 23, Jiang Songchang was on vacation in Portugal. When he saw that the time was almost up, he ordered a cup of coffee and watched the live broadcast on his mobile phone. Unexpectedly, he witnessed a historical moment with his own eyes – his documentary “Golden Gate Island in Between)》chooseOscar for Best Documentary Short. This is the first time a Taiwanese documentary has been nominated for an Oscar.

Jiang Songchang, director of “Kinmen”. (Provided by CNEX)

Jiang Songchang is no stranger to the Oscar nomination and film selection process. He has been a member of the Oscar Association since 2017. However, the film he directed and starred in, which was completed only in September last year, was finally nominated for the Best Oscar. In the short documentary, he joked that he was still “very surprised” and “incredible”.

“Kinmen” focuses on Taiwan’s outlying islands with a special geographical location, and from the director’s personal perspective, explore the feelings of being Taiwanese under today’s complex and tense situation between the United States, China and Taiwan. Tries to. The film combines Jiang Songchang’s personal growth and work experience in three locations, historical audio and video materials, interviews with Kinmen residents, etc., weaving a personal feature film that is easy to understand, emotionally delicate and poetic.

Photographed by Jiang Songchang in Kinmen.  (Provided by CNEX)
Photographed by Jiang Songchang in Kinmen. (Provided by CNEX)

Jiang Songchang said that he had always wanted to tell Taiwan’s story to the world, but his proposals were not taken seriously in the past because Taiwan’s voice was too small in the world.In recent years, Taiwan’s outstandingpandemicProcessing, the technological strength presented by TSMC’s development, and the United States’ intervention amid tense cross-Strait relations have made the world pay more attention to Taiwan, and also provided suitable soil for the birth of this film. We chose to shoot this documentary in Kinmen because the unique battlefield scene that has survived the artillery war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait for more than 20 years is not found in other places in Taiwan. It also well reflects the people of Taiwan today. A tense atmosphere is being experienced at this time.

In addition to personal experiences, the film includes the story of Jiang Songchang’s father’s military service in Kinmen, footage of tourists listening to tour guides in Kinmen, scenes of mainland spouses of Taiwanese residents discussing the “Little Three Links”, and former Also includes clips. Kinmen Garrison soldiers revisiting their hometown, etc. These different photos are Jiang Songchang’s attempt to show multiple perspectives. But he also admitted that it was a pity that some young people spoke enthusiastically during the interview, but were contacted later and hoped that their answers would not be included in the film, for fear that if they If they develop in the mainland, they will be affected. Future.

A scene from the movie “Golden Gate”, three ID cards of director Jiang Songchang. (Provided by CNEX)

Jiang Songchang said that he also completely understands the thoughts of these youth. After all, unlike them, as holders of three different ID cards, he has options that they do not have. There is a scene in the film where Jiang Songchang holds the US passport, Taiwan passport and mainland passport together in front of the camera, and explains the complexity behind the three identities-as if Kinmen is caught in the conflict between the United States , China, and Taiwan, he himself is a Taiwanese-born American who grew up and works in mainland China often struggles with where he belongs.

The film was released on the New York Times Op-Docs platform and was nominated for an Oscar. It also achieved Jiang Songchang’s goal when making this film: to let more international audiences see Taiwan’s story. He said that Taiwanese people may have seen a lot of movies about Kinmen, and there are also many people with work and life experience in other countries. They decided to use English narration to tell the story and look at Kinmen from a personal perspective, hoping to make it easier for international audiences to understand and connect with Taiwan in a straightforward manner.

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