THE FILIAL DAUGHTER (documentary)

Professional mourning is a time-honoured tradition that is slowly dying out in Taiwan – as little as twenty years ago, there were hundreds of mourners working at funerals that lasted for over 30 days. Nowadays, this number is drastically lower,…

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Professional mourning is a time-honoured tradition that is slowly dying out in Taiwan – as little as twenty years ago, there were hundreds of mourners working at funerals that lasted for over 30 days. Nowadays, this number is drastically lower, reflected by the fact that services rarely last beyond a fortnight.

Liu Jun-Lin is currently the youngest and one of the best-known professional mourners still working in Taiwan. The Filial Daughter captures her and her band’s pre-funeral rituals and elaborate performances, which include acrobatic dance manoeuvres, sombre songs, theatrical elements and detailed choreography. The event is steeped in folkloric tradition yet wholly modern, featuring maximal lighting and pumped up PA systems.

Perceived as a lower class occupation and often associated with the criminal underworld, professional mourners are often looked down upon, despite their role in seeing loved ones into the afterlife. The Filial Daughter asks whether an economy built on emotional transactions can survive Taiwan’s march into modernity, and shines a light on the adversity faced by Liu Jun-Lin as a one of the country’s last professional mourners.

Directed & Produced by – Lu Xiao Wei
Cinematography by – Lu Xiao Wei
1st AC: Da Mu
2nd AC: Chen Yun-Ru
Composer – Model Man
Sound Designer – Morgan Williams
Colourist – Tim Martin
Post Production Company: Creep
Graphic Designer – Seth De Silva
Featuring – Liu Jun- Lin, Liu Wen-Ji, Tang Ya-Ting, Xu Xiao-Ci, Liu Ting-Ru

Premiered on NOWNESS

OFFICIAL SELECTION – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2020
OFFICIAL SELECTION – Baesianz Film Festival ‘No Room Left in the Margins’

PRESS:
i-D – https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/akz8b8/no-room-left-in-the-margins-film-festival-british-asian-diectors

Little Black Book – https://www.lbbonline.com/news/familia-signs-director-lu-xiao-wei

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