[ART] Documentary “Father” (紅盒子) A wonderful insight in the endangered world of Taiwan’s Hand Puppet Opera

The Central News Agency recently reported that the Taiwanese Documentary “Father” (紅盒子),” directed by Yang Li-chou (楊力州), which tells the story of the father-and-son relationship of puppet master Li Tien-lu (李天祿) , won the best feature film at the 11th Chinese Documentary Festival in Hong Kong.

Chen Hsi-huang is the eldest son of Li Tien-lu, the renowned Taiwanese glove puppeteer, but his relationship with his father had always been strained. At the age of 79, Chen set up his own troupe, which soon earned recognition all over the world. Nevertheless, Chen finds no one to pass on his great skills…

You’ll be amazed by the details and dexterity with which the master moves and controls the hands gestures of the puppets. A wonderful insight in this endangered world of Puppet theater.

Hand puppet is a type of opera using cloth puppets that originated during the 17th century in Quanzhou or Zhangzhou of China’s Fujian province. It had since established itself contemporarily as a popular art form in Taiwan.

陳錫煌,已故布袋戲大師李天祿的長子。李天祿因入贅陳家,長子按規定得姓陳。父親巨人般的身影、異姓父子的特殊關係,為兩人種下難解心結。2009 年,高齡七十九歲的陳錫煌離開家族庇蔭,只帶著紅盒子內供奉的戲神田都元帥,用自己的名字另創劇團,成為深獲國內外肯定的人間國寶。然而,傳統布袋戲的快速沒落,卻又讓他面臨空有一身絕學、慷慨授藝不藏私,可是後繼者寥寥可數的困境⋯⋯。

楊力州愛看布袋戲,工作室取名「後場」,意指拍紀錄片一如為布袋戲敲鑼打鼓的樂陣,是在陪襯鏡頭裡的精彩人生。《紅盒子》製作歷時十年,不只紀錄八旬長者的傳承使命、探究兩代國寶間的矛盾,更以大銀幕展現老師傅為戲偶注入靈魂的掌中技藝,企圖將傳統布袋戲的獨特魅力,重新帶回常民生活。

– Description& trailer from link below

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