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Taiwan New Cinema: A Movement of Unintended Consequences

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Taiwan New Cinema movement that began in the 1980s is arguably one of Taiwan’s greatest cultural breakthroughs; the movement eventually led to numerous awards for Taiwanese filmmakers at the biggest festivals, such as Venice, Berlin and Cannes. This implies that the New Cinema movement was ultimately the result of a carefully orchestrated policy on the part of the Taiwan authority. In truth, however, the New Cinema was more accidental than planned. The initial factors behind the movement were more domestic in orientation than foreign; the movement represented a makeshift attempt to save a domestic film industry that was slowly dying. The multiple awards received by Taiwanese filmmakers were thus unexpected benefits, which the authority and others were slow to recognize. Regardless of its origins, however, the New Cinema’s lasting impact is undeniable. To this day, many of the controversies first raised about the New Cinema remain core issues for Taiwan cinema.


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