Last night I attended my second film in Chicago’s Asian Pop-up Cinema series this fall. The films come from all over Asia, and last night’s was from Taiwan. Meeting Dr. Sun was billed as a comedy about a couple groups of high school students who plan to steal and sell an old statue of Sun Yat-sen that’s been tucked away in an old store room.
The beauty of attending a film festival is that the films often come with a question and answer session after the film. Or in last night’s case, a video interview with the director, Yee Chih-yen.
The film tells the story of two groups of boys who are too poor to pay their school fees. They come up with this plan to steal the statue and sell it as scrap metal so they can pay their tuition and graduation trip fees. What ensues is both sad and comedic, but it’s not until we hear the interview by Director Yee that we learn more about the symbolism behind the statue, namely that Sun represents money but also change. (Happy Double 10!)
I love it when people of means make social statements about income disparities. One thing that Yee said which stood out was that people nowadays make money from money, not from hard work or an acquired skill like they did in the old days. I thought that said a lot not just about Taiwan, but all industrialized countries.