“Hand in Hand” USA Premiere: Tears, Laughters and More Tears!

On Dec 19th, we attended the “Hand in Hand” USA Premiere in New York.  Before we took the trip to Chen Dance Theater at 70 Mulberry St. in Chinatown, we’ve already heard a lot of buzz about this film and had prepared tissues as we knew it was going to be an emotional movie.  Within the first 10 minutes of the film, we ran out of tissues and the tears just came flowing down our eyes throughout the 2.5 hours of the documentary.

This is a must see film about two ordinary couples who discovered an incredible bond in the most unconventional manner. Off the beaten path of what we know to be love, we learn a deeper meaning of committment and loyalty.  United as one, the two Taiwanese couples fearlessly face insurmountable obtacles to fight for their country – to free the people of Taiwan.  They teach us that our tender hearts know no boundaries.

“Hand in Hand”, a film directed by Cres Juang and Yan Lan-chuan, is a documentary with a mixture of love, faith, friendship, and the most important part- the pursuit of democracy and freedom for Taiwan.   Through the lens and interviews of Mama Tien (Tien Meng-shu), we see her love for her husband Dr. Tien (Tien Chao-ming) and her devoted love for Taiwan’s democracy and human rights.   Also, through the animated sequences, we saw how much this couple have sacrificed for the faith they believe in since 1950 when Mama Tien was just an innocent 17 year old girl.   It’s just amazing to see how courageous they were to stick together as they fight  for Taiwan’s democracy and bring us back to the country’s past.  We are so lucky to be able to see this film and understand how much sacrifices from those individuals who lived trough Kuomintang Martial Law Era, White Terror, 228 Massacre, Formosa Incident and even post-Martial Law time.  We have read a lot of history during those periods but  it’s when we actually saw the film and through all the historical footage, we are hit with the reality and come to realize how many people were killed, vanished, died, or imprisoned for decades.

Brought to you by the directors of “Let It Be”, first prize winners of Taiwan International Documentary Film festival in 2004, Yan Lan-chuan and Cres Juang, spent 5 years documenting Dr. Tien and Mrs. Tien’s life, when they started, Dr. Tien has already hospitalized and lost his ability to move and communicate.  Then we found out Dr. Tien passed away last year with Mama Tien by her side.  It’s just sad to see him in the hospital bed still thinking … fighting for Taiwan.  They are an amazing couple who have devoted all their entire lives for Taiwan’s path to democracy.

So we ask ourselves: what’s the meaning of life?   Through the lens of these incredible two Taiwanese couple, they teach us an epic love story for each other, an undying commitment to free their country and a fearless heart to sacrifice their lives for the people of Taiwan.  Even to some of us who are not Taiwanese and don’t know much about the country’s past, we highly recommend the film.  A must, must see documentary “Hand in Hand”!!

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