Saturday, July 17, 2010

thoughts after viewing Formosa Betrayed

I've been looking forward to viewing the film Formosa Betrayed for several months. It came out on DVD this week and arrived in our mail box today. Lucky for us, Nana and Papa agreed to some Hannah time so we could have a movie tonight here at home.

Here's the trailer if you'd like to see what it is about.

Going into the film, I knew that the reviews weren't so hot of the storyline, but that's okay. Watching what it was like to live during white terror in Taiwan... the longest period of martial law in the world... was what it was all about for me. I've read about the 228 massacre before, but it never really sunk in for me that it was ILLEGAL just to talk about the incident. I try to imagine myself as a Taiwanese in the late 1940s, watching these KMT mainlanders take over my homeland, murder my neighbors who appear as through they are an intellectual and might start a political uprising, demand that my children learn Mandarin in school and are punished when they speak Taiwanese... wow. That's a lot to chew on.

In summary, the movie wasn't bad. It just wasn't really good. The jumping around of the timeline threw me off a bit. I valued the film for highlighting the history of white terror by the KMT during the years of martial law in Taiwan.

ADDED 7/20/10: Be sure to read Mama Shoe's comment on this post.


  1. Hi Sarah! Just wanted to chirp in and say hello (I've visited a few times admiring your photography, but haven't said hello yet.)

    The whole 228 incident was so shocking, not just because of the unimaginable tragedy but also the silence. I was born in Taiwan and spent my first 8 years there, but I've never heard of 228 until ten years ago, and I was even more shocked that my parents, my extended family all knew people who were kidnapped and killed. It affected everyone but nobody talked about it.

    Your post brought back some memories: as a child I do remember my parents being very cautious and fearful of the gov't. I also remember being in first grade, and was required to speak only Mandarin, and those students who "slipped" in Taiwanese were punished.

    Thanks for speaking about this.

  2. Yes, thank you for passing along the info and your thoughts. It is amazing that people had to live (or die) through this. We have so many freedoms!


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