Directed by Oliver Lin
An ex-conscript of the Taiwanese military hides from his family’s duties by prolonging a celebratory night out with his best friend. Can he run from his fate forever?
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Oliver Lin grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, and now lives in Florida, where he is completing his senior year at Ringling College of Art and Design film school. Outside of academics, he actively directs/edits commercials, short films and documentaries. His most recent film NOSTALGIA, a short semi-documentary about a Taiwanese high mountain tea farmer, screened at the Taiwan Tea, Coffee and Wine Expo in 2021.
Growing up in Taiwan, my friends and I attended English speaking schools, but spoke to each other in a hybrid dialect of Mandarin and English, often switching seamlessly between the two languages in conversation. We were sold on the notion that the West was the only place where we could go to attend university. Without a doubt, receiving this type of education was a great privilege. Nevertheless, it would be totally naive not to admit, it was accompanied by serious societal and parental pressure. Whether we knew it or not, our futures were viewed through a telescope, blurred with a reality that was only feasible during our parent’s generation.
In today’s world, the path to obtaining a long term work visa for an international student who graduated from the U.S. education pipeline is more uncertain than ever. With highly polarized debates around immigration, unprecedented job competitiveness, as well as having to place your fate in the hands of a complex visa lottery system, these contributing factors are a tough pill to swallow for individuals who have been told it’s their destiny to work and live in the U.S.
Consequently, many young Taiwanese have no other option but to return home after graduation where they must reinvent themselves, cradling the hopes of creating a self which goes against their parent’s preordained plan.
In this story I found myself asking the question, “why are we never allowed to think that our home(Taiwan) is ever good enough?”