Articulating Sadness, Gendering Space:
The Politics and Poetics of Taiyu Films from 1960s Taiwan

By Yingjin Zhang

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 25, no.1 (Spring 2013), pp. 1-46

This essay revisits sadness as a structure of feeling, a narrative strategy, and a geopolitical vision in Taiyu (Taiwanese-dialect) films during the 1960s. Operating as an unofficial, parallel, and competing industry, Taiyu films developed a distinctive strategy of translation and transformation and drew on a variety of cultural resources from both inside and outside Taiwan. By focusing on topics such as endangerment of nation/family, double-face woman, female vision, and male suffering, this article explores the ways Taiyu films, as a specific linguistic and ethnic-cultural form, succeeded in articulating sadness and gendering space in a transition period of Taiwan history.