Private Project

Search For Satoyama

“Satoyama” means the area between the cities and the forests, and it is the most habitable place for human beings. The story tells a search for “satoyama” that goes back and forth between Echigo in Japan and Meinung in Taiwan.
Echigo in Japan is described as the “snow country” by the Japanese literature giant Kawabata Yasunari. However, for the local residents, the heavy snow isn’t a romantic symbol but a barrier that separates them from the outside world. Although the snow contributes to the production of the best rice variety, Koshihikari, in the country, it drives the local young people away from the region, and therefore many small villages are dying.
Meinung in Taiwan is a traditional Hakka farming village. When Taiwan has become an industrial society, the young residents gradually leave Meinung for cities. Subsequently, Meinung is slowly ageing…

Both Echigo in Japan and Meinung in Taiwan can be categorized as “satoyama” areas; the environments are great, but people in the regions are facing different problems in farming. Fortunately, in both places, there are groups of people working very hard to create ideal lives for themselves no matter what is going on in the world or what will happen in the future.

  • Cheng Hui-ling
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    52 minutes 30 seconds
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    Chinese, Other
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Director Biography - Cheng Hui-ling

Cheng Hui-ling obtained a BA from the Department of Motion Pictures at the National Taiwan University of Arts and an MA from the Graduate Institute of Studies in Documentary & Film Archiving at the Tainan National University of the Arts.

Currently, Cheng works as an independent filmmaker, and her works won many prizes at the Golden Harvest Awards and other awards in Taiwan. Moreover, several of her films were invited to the Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taiwan. In 2011, her After the Storm - A Long Road Shen-Mu Village was nominated for the Golden Bell Awards (Taiwan) and in the same year, After the Strom, received nominations at the NHK Japan Prize. In 2013, Cheng participated in the Golden Bell Award-winning program “The farmers and the land”. In 2016, The Last Five Pupils! was selected for Prix Jeunesse International.

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Director Statement

The world has been disintegrating. However, in some corners there are people who insist on pursuing their ideal lives. But what is the “ideal life” in your mind? What is worth pursuing in life? These are the questions we should ask ourselves.