- Feb 24 Fri 2012 05:46
- Feb 22 Wed 2012 06:37
- Feb 20 Mon 2012 05:45
- Feb 10 Fri 2012 15:59
Why I was inspired to film “Returning Souls” （Hu Tai-Li）
Filming a documentary does not serve to simply document facts. By sharing what I have recorded, I hope to stimulate reflection in my audience on a variety of cultural issues. In all my experience performing anthropological research and filming ethnographic documentaries, “Returning Souls” has the closest links to my workplace, Academia Sinica’s Institute of Ethnology. In August 2003, when young members of the Amis tribe from Tafalong visited the Museum of Institute of Ethnology, I was Convener of the Institute’s Museum Committee. I could feel that something special had been put into motion. This story literally appeared on my doorstep and there was no way I could ignore it. Picking up a video camera is my natural reflex, but it is also an ideal tool for organizing thoughts, observing changes, recording communication, and introspection.
I was truly moved by the group of young Amis from Tafalong, led by Fuday. They came to request the return of wooden pillars from the Kakita’an family ancestral house that are preserved in the Institute’s museum. By bringing the pillars home, they hoped to restore the soul of their village that had been eaten away by the destruction of the Kakita’an ancestral house, the displacement of their ancestors’ souls, and the impact of outside culture on their way of life. If we can just bring back the pillars and rebuild the Kakita’an ancestral house, they thought, we can recapture our culture and rituals and revitalize the spirit of Tafalong.