My name is Nolan. I’m a student documentary filmmaker from the Netherlands and last year I have been studying in Taipei for half a year and since then I also got to be lucky to get in a relationship with a Taiwanese girl. In Februari I’m going back to Taiwan to make a documentary for my graduation project.
For this documentary I want to use the subject of love to explore different topics, that tells a story of the current state of Taiwan and how it got there. The underlying context of the documentary is that Taiwan in such a short time has changed to a modern progressive society where traditional values are still really important. Love has a hard time finding its place in modern society.
My girlfriend and the internet has helped me a lot to draft the story but I’m still looking for interesting characters/events/groups/organizations to film and use to expose and strengthen the different parts of the story. Any help is much appreciated!
Below are the subjects I have so far, an explanation of what these subjects have to do with my story and which characters I was already thinking of interviewing. I’m looking for characters/events/groups/organizations on the following subjects:
Traditional values in modern society:
Since the lifting of martial law 30 years ago, the country experienced a fast modernisation and changed from a militarised dictatorship to a progressive modern democracy in which traditional values still play an important role.
- Visit the Rabbits God temple in Taipei (a Taoist temple for homosexual)
Not so long a go, love had a totally different meaning, love was much more an arrangement based on political or economic incentives.
- Interview an old couple that experienced an arranged marriage
Family in Taiwan always had an important role. In Taiwan it’s very normal for children to live with their parents till they are married, and even then some families still live together.
- Visit a Love Motel (because young people that are in love don’t have a private place where they can go to)
More independent women:
Woman nowadays have a higher social status and are much more represented in higher education. Lots of women nowadays are looking for a man that recognize their higher social status while some men are more traditional minded and want a woman to fulfill the traditional role as housewife. So a lot of women and men have different expectations from each other.
- Interview with a feminist book club
- visit a transnational marriage company (because men want a more traditional woman)
Work Culture and income:
In Taiwan lots of single people don’t have time to date or let alone raise children. Taiwan ranks number 4 in the world in average worked hours a year. At the same time raising a child is way to expensive. In Taiwan the annual average costs of raising a child covers 44% of the average annual disposable income. So for lots of Taiwanese having children is no option.
- Street interviews (to talk about why they are single and why they don’t want children etc.)
Low birth rate:
Taiwan has the third lowest birthrate in the world. Some of the reasons are: housing prices, work culture, income and different expectations of man and women. The government is trying to solve this issue by giving a ‘baby bonus’, childcare allowance and organizes dating events.
- Attend a speed dating event organized by the government
- Visit a children’s daycare school