Saideke Balai, Warriors Of The Rainbow

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Tra il 1895 e il 1945 Taiwan era una colonia giapponese abitata prevelentemente da Han, ma anche dai discendenti delle popolazioni aborigene che per prime avevano colonizzato la montuosa isola.

Nel 1930 Mouna Rudo, il leader di una delle tribu’ Seediq organizzo’ una rivolta contro l’invasore giapponese.

Saideke Balai (Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale) di Te-Sheng Wei

Cast: Da-Ching, Umin Boya, Landy Wen, Lo Mei-ling
Durata: 150′
Origine: Taiwan

Wei Te-Sheng’s epic film Saideke Balai recounts an extraordinary episode from 20th-century history which is little-known even in Taiwan. Between 1895 and 1945, the island was a Japanese colony inhabited not only by the majority (Han Chinese immigrants) but also by the remnants of the aboriginal tribes who first settled in the mountainous land. In 1930 Mouna Rudo, the leader of one of the Seediq tribes settled on and around Mount Chilai, forged a coalition with other Seediq tribal leaders and plotted a rebellion against their Japanese colonial masters. It was to begin at a sports day meeting where the assembled tribesmen were to attack and kill the Japanese officials. The initial uprising took the Japanese by surprise and was almost entirely successful. But the Japanese soon sent in their army to crush the rebellion, using aircraft and poison gas. Mouna Rudo knew from the start that the relatively small force of Seediq tribesmen stood no chance of defeating the might of Japan. But he and his allies were sustained by the beliefs and myths which had nourished their tribes since time immemorial. Young males in the tribes had to undergo a rite de passage to become adult men, which gave them the right to have their faces tattooed. In tribal language, they became Saideke Balai – heroes of the tribe.

Director Statement

The common view is that the so-called ’Wushe Incident’ of 1930 was a native Taiwanese rebellion against oppressive Japanese colonial rule. That’s true as far as it goes, but the rebellion had a very specific root: the Japanese ban on indigenous cultural practices. It was not the ’Wushe Incident’ rebellion itself that was heroic, rather the fact that it was an uprising in defence of a principle. My intention has been to re-examine the ’Wushe Incident’ in this light, through the prism of Seediq beliefs. At the same time, I’m trying to bring about some kind of reconciliation between the two opposing sides – and to address larger questions of human dignity and self-fulfilment.


Duo Mingjin, Life Without Principle



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