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date: 05 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

How does one measure the significance of a nation’s cinema? This chapter presents a case for Taiwan cinema as a product of a small nation with enormous soft power. Tracing major awards won by Taiwan films and directors at international film festivals, it will show that a dismal domestic production level is no hindrance to a small cinema’s global critical acclaim and examine the paradoxical dynamic between a perceived failure in the state of domestic film production and consumption and the undeniable prestigious international status of Taiwan cinema. Using as its focus the Taiwan New Cinema (TNC) movement that began in the early 1980s, this chapter advocates for “another kind of cinema” (a concept proposed during the TNC period) and explores the implications of this bifurcation for Taiwan film historiography.

Keywords: Taiwan New Cinema, soft power, small nation, international film festivals, Cape No. 7, auteurism, historiography

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