Boluomi

dir. Lau Kek Huat, Vera Chen
Taiwan, Malaysia 2019, 108’

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Th 25 Nov, 10:00 – Su 06 Dec, 23:59
Credits
Taiwan, Malaysia 2019
Duration: 108’
director: Lau Kek Huat, Vera Chen
screenplay: Lau Kek Huat, Kai-Leong Tian
cinematography: Ming-Kuang Yeh
editing: Jessica Wan-Yu Lin, Ching-Sung Liao
music: Hung-Tao Lin
cast: Nien-Hsuan Wu, Laila Ulao, Vera Chen, Helena Hsu, Wan Hanafi Su
producer: Liao Ching-song, Lin Shih-ken
production: Hummingbird Productions
language: Mandarin, Malay, Tagalog, English
colouration: colour
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Film description

Nobody escapes their family story, even if emigration is on the table. The past is
a baggage you carry wherever you go, and the relationships between parents and their children is are the heaviest. The makers of "Boluomi" are weaving a tale combining two threads set over 60 years apart. In the contemporary Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city, Wu Yi-fan, a young Malay of Chinese origins, is studying agriculture and working part-time in a restaurant, trying to find his way in the new reality. There, he meets Laila, a young cleaner from the Philippines.

Through flashbacks, we learn about the history of his family – Wu Yi-fan's father was born in the 1950s in the jungle, like many other children whose parents were fighting the British in a guerrilla war for the country's independence.

Lau Kek-Huat and Vera Chen skillfully move between the two narrative threads. Even though the father and the son appear together in only one scene, its emotional load and symbolism turns their complex relationship, filled with reproach, despise, and unspoken love, into the main axis of the movie.
The filmmakers also focus on the wider context of economic migration to Taiwan, a country hard to classify, located somewhere between the Global North and the Global South. The experience of migration painfully reveals the unequal distribution of wealth and privilege, and the class divisions marking some incomers as temporary cheap labor, and others as a welcome source of intellectual capital. Through showing the relationship between Laila and Wu Yi-fan, the filmmakers outline the possibility of creating a community of migrants – multinational and multi-ethnic communities could be the source of an inner strength and an alternative for isolation or the suffocating diasporas. In "Boluomi," reconstructing the individual story and finding the feeling of belonging in a new place are only possible outside urban spaces, through contact with nature, which possesses a mysterious power granting the access to the collective memory.

text:
Maja Korbecka

Lau Kek Huat

Malaysian filmmaker based in Taiwan. His short film "Nia'a door" won Best Short Film Award and Sonje Award in Busan IFF, and was selected for 38th Clermont-Ferrand International Short FF. His written first feature film "Boluomi", also won him the Tokyo Talent Award 2015,  Best Script Award in 2013 Taiwan and was selected for La Fabrique Cinema du monde. Both his documentaries "Absent without leave" and "The Tree Remembers" still face censorship challenge today in Malaysia. He is an alumnus of Golden Horse Academy and Berlinale & Tokyo Talents.

Filmography:

2008 Rat (kr. m.)

2012 When It Rains (kr. m.)

2015 Nia's Door (kr. m.)

2016 Absent Without Leave (dok.)

2018 Ten Years Taiwan (segment "The Sleep")

2019 The Tree Remembers (dok.)

2019 Boluomi

Vera Chen

Film and stage actress, theatrical director. Born in 1980 in central Taiwan, she studied biotechnology before achieving her maters degree in Contmporary Performative Arts at Brunel University in United Kingdom. She works with Lau Kek-huat since 2015, starring in his short features "Nia’s Door", "A Scene Of The Sea" and "Ten Years Taiwan".

Filmography:

2019 Boluomi

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