Listen Before You Sing is inspired by the story of Taiwan Vox Nativa Children’s Choir Group.
WITH THE THEME “The Palette of Life”, the Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival launches this week with 14 curated films both in person at VIFF Centre and online.
A few of this year’s standout features spotlight the arts. Among them, Listen Before You Sing tells the founding story of Vox Nativa Children’s Choir Group and their conductor, Bukut Tasvaluan, It takes place in the Taiwanese mountains, at a school for Indigenous Bunun children, who find cultural pride singing the music of their people. Elsewhere, The Child of Light focuses on Yu-lan, a successful contemporary dancer who’s forced retire early to become caregiver to a foster mother who suffers from dementia. And see the vibrant art of Taiwanese animation in several films, including the award-winning City of Lost Things and the newly restored classic Grandma and Her Ghosts.
The fest opens Friday with Goddamned Asura, a complex psychological drama about disillusioned Taiwanese youth that centres on six seemingly random teens. Each of them faces constant expectations thrust on them, leading one to commit a disturbing act of violence.
And there are a few compelling documentaries on the roster as well, including The Mountain, following a Truku elder and his life amid Indigenous movements in Taiwan, and Muakai’s Wedding, focusing on a spectacular traditional Paiwan wedding.  
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It Runs in the Family artfully interweaves archival photos, interviews, animation, and more, while a Mexican-Tzotzil director makes amends with his Mamá
Fest artistic director Christian Sida dives into his first film, a raucous, mezcal-fuelled “docoficción” look at a maverick artist
Respected NFB documentarian Martin Duckworth opened his rambling Montreal duplex to filmmaker Jeremiah Hayes
Sing 2 kicks off the fun at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn plaza this week, followed by Pitch Perfect, Spider Man: No Way Home, and In the Heights
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Listen Before You Sing tells the true story of a mountain-tribe children’s choir, while Goddamned Asura explores Taiwan’s disillusioned youth
The cinema is welcoming audiences back in droves, with its mix of crisp restorations and the avant garde
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