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For generations, the Taiwanese Tayal have been protecting their culture from extinction. Their traditions are preserved in the Gaga, a collection of rules and beliefs setting the Tayal way of life, its rhythm and philosophy that does not go against Christianity. Being rooted in the order of things, the foundations of daily rituals, the importance of spirituality – it all comes together in the Gaga. But the modernizing world poses a serious threat to the survival of the tradition.
This is the problem explored by Laha Mebow, the first Tayal film director. In the center of her realist story is the Hayung family that enjoys a high status in the town community. As we follow their daily lives and routines, family secrets are slowly coming to light, along with political aspirations and the need for a verification of the old traditions. Mebow's film pays homage to the Gaga culture without sentimentalism or excessive tenderness. The director portraits the community from within, paying attention to cultural nuances, which makes "Gaga" a rare example of ethnographic cinema that also explores the emotions of its protagonists.
The first film director from the Taiwanese indigenous ethnic group Tayal. She graduated from the Radio, Film and TV Faculty of the Shih Hsin University. Since then, she made several documentary films, including some devoted tot he indigenous peoples of Taiwan. In 2016, she made "Lokah Laqui," a drama about growing up in a tribal community and Taiwan's Oscar candidate. "Gaga" is her third feature film.
2011 Inina Ptnaq Na Bcingan / Finding Sayun
2016 Lokah Laqi / Hang in There, Kids!