Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau
De Chia-Wei Hsu, film 2015, 13min 30s
HSU Chia Wei creates sensitive filmic narratives about geographical, historical and cultural regions in Asia, showing how the dense and complex layers of cultures and histories fundamentally transform the lives of people in the modern age. In this show Hsu is presenting Ruins of the Intelligence Bureau.
During the Civil War of China in 1950, a defeated army troop retreated to Huai Mo village in Thailand after their failure. And the political situation changed which became impossible for this troop to follow General Chiang Kai-Shek to move to Taiwan, nor for return to China. Therefore, they remained living in this Thai village, like a group of homeless people without any national identification.
Hsu incidentally met a priest in Huai Mo village, who used to be a spy. During the Cold War, Americans set the CIA in Huai Mo village. He had hidden his job as a spy behind the identity of the priest until he retired from CIA. In this film, Hsu invited other veterans of the former Intelligence Bureau aged between 60 to 80 years old to participate in the filming. Filming took place at the site of the Intelligence Bureau in Huai Mo village, and Hsu used the left foundation of the demolished Intelligence Bureau office as a stage, which traditional Thai puppeteers were invited to perform and the veterans were invited to watch the performance. The narrator in this video is the priest. In this voice-over, he talks about the myth of Hanuman, his personal memory and the destiny of the old veterans in a mixture order. Hanuman is a monkey general who rescues his troop, while in reality the veterans have no chance to return to homes. The process of studio recording has also become a part of this video.
National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan Cultural Affairs Department, New Taipei City Government Taipei Culture Foundation
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