Private Project

Island of Mountains 2: A Sky-high Confession

Chung Han Lu, also known as A-Guo, has been creating his own records of oxygen-free climbing since 2013. He has successfully reached the summit of seven of the world's eight-thousand-meter peaks. Throughout this journey, he has aimed to gradually reduce his reliance on sherpas (mountain guides) and explore his own capabilities.

In addition to his climbs on eight-thousand-meter peaks, Chung Han also embarked on a journey to the Mt. Jade East Peak, which was a pivotal experience for his enlightenment.

On this expedition, departing from the established traditional route, A-Guo and Yuanzhi led the director to experience a journey closest to fear, marking the director's first encounter with such emotions. This, as A-Guo puts it, is the essence of "real adventure education."

  • Howard Cheng
  • Public Television Service Taiwan
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Television
  • Genres:
    Mountain, Adventure, Sports
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 15, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Chinese, Mandarin Chinese
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Howard Cheng

Howard Cheng is dedicated to documentary production and program creation, excelling in using distinctive musical rhythms to craft visually refreshing imagery. In 2017, he collaborated with two other directors to create the promotional video for "Taipei In Motion," showcasing the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade, which won the "Communication design award "at the 2017 Red Dot Design Awards in Germany.

Starting from 2021, he ventured into the deep mountains of Taiwan, infusing his unique visual energy into the magnificent landscapes. In 2021, he produced " Island of Mountains : Believe it or not. This is Taiwan!!! " which opened up a new perspective on Taiwan's mountainous terrain. This program was nominated for the 2022 New York Festivals - TV & Film Awards

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Director Statement

Taiwan has long been a hotbed of OEM industry, and the chief guiding principle of successful OEM operation is to minimize risk. This style of doing business has long since become intertwined with our educational system, in spite of the fact that Taiwan stopped focusing on OEM production at an early date. Even today, we are still not in the habit of discussing risk taking, and the educational system still mostly tells us to "know our place and be content with our lot." And because of the time in the past when access to the sea and mountains was restricted, we have also been taught that the mountains and sea are dangerous. No one has ever instructed us in the right techniques to face the risks of the outdoors.
The main character in this film is a person who was raised outside Taiwan's formal educational system, and grew up in an environment that most parents would feel was "very risky." He walked the "Holy Ridgeline" from Mt. Xue to Mt. Dabajian at the age of 13, and climbed the highest peak in North America after graduating from junior high school. After climbing several 8,000-meter peaks, he challenged K2—the world's second highest peak—in 2019, but ultimately failed to reach the summit. I was curious as to what this son of Taiwan thought about adventure, and even more curious as to what his mother thought about her child braving such great dangers. That is why I decided to accompany them on a hike of the Holy Ridgeline, which was the high mountain route he had trained on at a young age.
During the hike, we happened to encounter the first major snowstorm of the year. Although Taiwan's mountains didn't pose any threat to him, he still had to look after his mother and make sure the film crew was safe. Although I had originally planned to examine this man's adventurous spirit, I ended up having my own personal adventure and facing the brink of losing control, on this journey.