1. Taiwan has had a complex colonial experience. It was ruled by the Dutch (1624-62), and then by the remnant of Ming Dynasty (Chinese) (1662 – 83). The Manchu government (Chinese) took the control of Taiwan (1683 -1895). In 1895 the Japanese defeated the Manchu’s in the Sino-Japanese war and China ceded Taiwan to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. In 1945 Japan was defeated in WWII and the Chinese government (KMT) resumed the control. In 1949 the KMT was defeated by the Communist and retreated to Taiwan. For the next four decades, the people of Taiwan lived under Martial Law, while the KMT attempted to fight back to rule all of China. The native Taiwanese were under KMT’s tight control of the political system, police, military, educational system and media. For a detailed introduction of Taiwan history, see M. A. Rubinsteins, ed. Taiwan: A new history. Armonk (N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1999). This book includes essays on Taiwanese literature in colonial and postcolonial contexts, and identity issues. Also see Stevan Harrell & Huang Chun-chieh, eds. Cultural change in Postwar Taiwan (Boulder: Westview Press, 1994). It provides a historical view of Taiwanese culture.

2. Hsiang-t’u literature, which emerged in Taiwan during the late 1960s and flourished in the 1970s, focuses on contemporary Taiwanese life. The representative hisang-t’u writers include Wang T’o, Yang Ch’ing-ch’u, Ch’en Ying-chen, Wang Chen-ho and Hwang Chun-ming. They sought to capture the specifically Taiwanese experience of postwar sociocultural change through literary forms of fiction and short stories.

3. As Miriam Hansen presents in her book Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991),cinema is a form of public space where the audience participates in constructing meanings around the film text.

4. For Benjamin’s concept of history and historiography see his “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” in Benjamin, Illuminations, Trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken, 1969).

5. Two-two-eight Incident and the March Massacres: after 50 years of colonial rule by Japan, Taiwan was returned to China and was placed under the control of the KMT government. The discriminatory rule of the new government led to tension between the local Taiwanese and mainlanders. An uprising broke out on February 28, 1947. It was shortly suppressed by KMT military. The troops launched a massive crackdown in March. Thirty-thousand civilians were killed.

6. Because of the KMT’s discriminatory policy and harsh control over the Taiwanese, this authority from the mainland had been regarded as a colonizer in some sense, by the local people. Mandarin was imposed by the KMT as an official language upon local Taiwanese. It had been a controversial issue both in the socio-cultural arena and in daily life. Before the KMT came to Taiwan, Taiwanese had been spoken on the island for generations and it was the mother tongue of the majority of the population.

7. Gisele Pineau, Exile According to Julia. Trans. Betty Wilson (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003).

8. A few of her directed films: 20:30:40 (2004), The Tempting Heart (1999), Siao Yu (1995), New Age of Living Together (1994). Her films are subtle, usually dealing with relations between men and women.

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