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'Seediq Bale' highlights need for Taiwan's leadership to hold fast

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
By Johnny Chen, special to The China Post


Seediq Bale (Real Men) is a recent film by director Wei Te-sheng dramatizing the final Seediq uprising against the Imperial Japanese forces. The film is based on the Wushe Incident, but the director takes artistic liberty to portray the Seediq Chief Mona Rudao, the protagonist, as the flawed hero. The two-part film shows what humans are capable of when they have lost their heritage, dignity, and livelihood. It is simultaneously inspiring and conflicting to watch a people sacrifice their own lives in order to regain sovereignty and live freely and with dignity. There is definitely a hefty price tag that comes with being a “real man.” The movie echoes the idea that people need the freedom to live according to their convictions, and that the precondition for that freedom is wielding sovereignty over their own land.

The themes in this movie are good food for thought to those contemplating the Taiwanese presidential election in 2012. The nation needs to be reminded that in order to live freely, happily, and according to their own convictions, they need to wield sovereignty over their own land. In the past 60 years, Taiwan has become a stalwart of traditional Chinese culture and life. The amalgam of Chinese ethnic groups from all over China has only further enriched Taiwanese life and society by adding to the diversity of food, arts, and ideas. In his Republic of China 100th anniversary speech, President Ma spoke proudly of the truly democratic and free Chinese society that is rooted here in Taiwan. The fact that President Chen Shui- bian could be elected for two terms in 2000 and 2004 is a testament to the fact that the democracy in Taiwan is not fixed by an oppressive regime, but is of the people. Having two political parties coexisting would be impossible in the People's Republic of China. The government in Taiwan is a model Chinese democracy and needs to maintain its sovereignty if it wishes to maintain its liberty, culture, and lifestyle.

For 2012, Taiwan needs a leader that has the courage to hold our ground. Taiwan needs to remain sovereign over its own land in order to continue to show the world a charitable, democratic, and free Chinese society.

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