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'Seediq Bale' director heads for Venice

2011/08/30 14:32:18

Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) Wei Te-sheng, the Taiwanese director of the epic "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale," left for Italy Tuesday to attend the 68th Venice International Film Festival, where his film is set to premiere.

The picture, shortened to 150 minutes from its original four-plus hours for an international audience, is scheduled to make its world debut at 5 p.m. Thursday local time at the festival.

The film has been nominated for the Golden Lion award at this year's Venic Film Festival.

Before leaving, Wei addressed a controversy over the film being labeled as a "China, Taiwan" production, saying it was better to fight back with action than with words.

"If the main response is simply to protest, then people would have nothing to see," he said, preferring instead to use his movie to give people an understanding of Taiwan's history and culture.

"The most practical thing to do is to introduce Taiwan to the world. There's no need to say too much."

Taiwan formally protested labeling the originating country of the film as "China, Taiwan," because it implies Taiwan is a part of China and denigrates Taiwan's sovereignty.

The organizers have since changed the country title to "Chinese Taipei" in its lineup of festival films on its website, but did not change the "China, Taiwan" designation for the film in listings on the website's screening schedule.

Wei said he would do his best to promote the film at the festival, where he hoped to use audiences to spread its influence and reach.

Wei and other members of the film's crew will return to Taiwan on Sept. 3 and hold the Taiwan premiere on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei Sept. 4.

The movie is based on the Wushe Incident in 1930s, an uprising led by indigenous Seediq hero Mona Rudao against Japanese military forces during the Japanese colonial era in Taiwan.

(By Bien Chen-feng and Nell Shen)