This weekend, February 26-28, a new movie about Taiwan will be coming to theaters. Formosa Betrayed is the first American film to ever deal with US-Taiwan relations and explore the issues of democracy, identity, and justice during the White Terror period in Taiwan. The movie was largely funded by Taiwanese all over the United States and Canada, who invested over US$6 million into the film. This makes Formosa Betrayed one of the largest pro-Taiwan projects ever funded by the overseas Taiwanese community. Most of these investors are not wealthy — they are hard-working individuals who came to America to provide a better life for their children.
I am one of those children.
My parents are from Kaohsiung, Taiwan. While growing up, they taught me to call myself “Taiwanese,” not “Chinese.” This caused them much hardship, which included being put on a blacklist. Some of their friends had worse things happen to them. In some cases, people were killed.
The Taiwanese people have suffered at the hands of many over the last century, but these stories have rarely been told or heard. As a second generation Taiwanese American, I feel it is my duty to educate my generation, as well as the world, about the struggles and suffering of the Taiwanese. We cannot allow Taiwan’s history and its people’s hardships to be forgotten. Once that happens, it only becomes a matter of time before these atrocities are repeated. This is precisely why I dedicated the last five years of my life to bringing the story of Formosa Betrayed to the world.
As the turbulent reaction to President Obama’s recent arms sale to Taiwan shows, US-China-Taiwan relations are still a touchy subject that is greeted by fleeting interest, faint support, or –perhaps worst of all– indifference by the American media. I am hoping the release of Formosa Betrayed will help spur greater awareness and wider discussion about these important matters in the United States and abroad. This is why I am urging you to see Formosa Betrayed this weekend with your friends and family — to enlighten them about Taiwan’s embattled legacy and its struggle for democracy.
Thank you for your time and interest.
All the best,
President, Formosa Films
Producer, Formosa Betrayed