灣生 Wansei is the abbreviation for 臺灣出生, a term attributed to Taiwan-born Japanese, during Japanese ruling. At the end of World War II, Taiwan was handed over to the Republic of China, led by Chiang Kai-Sek’s KMT party. All of a sudden, a whole generation of Japanese who had known Taiwan as their only home, were sent back to Japan. A challenging transition for many of them, often estranged by, and victim of discrimination back in the motherland.
Al Jazeera, recently published a documentary about the court battle of cancer-stricken workers versus their ex-employer RCA. (More background on this lawsuit, here)
“More than 1,500 former workers at a television factory in Taiwan have been diagnosed with cancer. The company admits that it dumped hazardous waste, polluting the land and poisoning groundwater. But did Radio Corporation of America recklessly expose its employees to cancer-causing chemicals? For nearly two decades, sick workers have been waging a David and Goliath battle as they seek justice in the courts for their suffering.”
Earlierthis year, the workers won the lawsuit, but from what I gather, both sides are appealing, RCA to maintain their innocence in the ill-health of their former workers, and the workers to get compensation for all former employees, so the story is to be continued…
The movie was uploaded on the Public Television Service channel, so I can only assume that it’s 100% legal, haha. Unfortunately, the Taiwanese version has been edited down to 50 minutes (to satisfy an hour slot of TV program I imagine) in comparison to the original version which lasts 83 minutes. And since it’s the Taiwanese version, dialogues in Chinese are not translated, which means more listening and reading practice for you 😉 .
The documentary was released in 2012, so if you are already very familiar with Taiwan, the movie may not hold too much novelty as you’ll likely already have heard of the places featured, and now made popular thanks to TV shows and the written press. But you’ll maybe have a sting of nostalgia with the few glimpses (at 1:00 and 3:55 <= cool aerial view) of the edible community garden that used to exist near Taipei 101. I actually never realized that the garden almost took up almost the entire block, and to think it’s now covered in concrete 😥 .
At any rate, familiar or not with Taiwan, if you like this little piece of land, its food and scenery, and have 50 minutes to kill, then it should be a pleasant watch. Enjoy! 🙂
A while ago, amidst a week of never-ending downpour, I got around to watching Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2009), a documentary laying out contemporary issues about access to water. The documentary gets a bit alarmist at times, with the dramatic soundtrack to go along, but overall, it does its job raising awareness about water access (or monopoly?) and water conservation.
The documentary ends by asking “Where is your watershed?” (oops, sorry for the spoiler), and since I am currently living in Taiwan, I jumped on my laptop to seek more information about it. So for reference, should you wish to also learn more about your closest watershed in Taiwan, you can check out: