Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale - A Taiwanese Epic of Resistance and Rebellion
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale is a 2011 Taiwanese historical drama film directed by Wei Te-sheng and produced by John Woo, based on the 1930 Wushe Incident in central Taiwan. The film tells the story of an indigenous clan-based people living in harmony with nature who find their way of life threatened when violent interlopers from another culture arrive, intent on seizing their natural resources and enslaving them.
The film is divided into two parts, each with a running time of over two hours. The first part, subtitled The Sun Flag, focuses on the background and motivation of the Seediq leader Mona Rudao, who decides to launch a rebellion against the Japanese colonial rule after witnessing years of oppression and humiliation. The second part, subtitled The Rainbow Bridge, depicts the fierce and bloody battle that ensues between the Seediq warriors and the Japanese army, as well as the tragic aftermath of the uprising.
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale is a monumental work of cinema that showcases the rich culture and history of the Seediq people, as well as their courage and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds. The film features stunning cinematography, authentic costumes and props, spectacular action sequences, and a powerful performance by Nolay Piho as Mona Rudao. The film also explores themes such as identity, dignity, loyalty, sacrifice, and freedom.
The film was Taiwan's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. To meet Academy regulations, the four-and-half-hour full version of the diptych was submitted as one entry. The film received critical acclaim and won 15 awards and 29 nominations at various film festivals and ceremonies.[^1^]
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The film is based on the historical event known as the Wushe Incident or the Musha Incident, which was the last major uprising against colonial Japanese forces in Japanese Taiwan. The incident occurred in October 1930, when over 300 Seediq people in the settlement of Musha (Wushe) attacked a Japanese village, killing over 130 Japanese. The attack was triggered by long-term oppression by Japanese authorities, who had snatched lands from indigenous people, enslaved Aboriginal men, and mistreated their women. [^2^]
The Japanese responded with a relentless counter-attack, mobilizing over 2,000 troops and police officers, as well as airplanes and poison gas. The Seediq warriors, led by Chief Mona Rudao, fought back with primitive weapons and guerrilla tactics, but were outnumbered and outgunned. The battle lasted for two months, resulting in over 600 Seediq deaths, most of whom committed suicide rather than surrender. The Japanese also massacred surviving members of the families of Aboriginal participants, and forcefully expelled the rest from their home territories. [^2^]
The Wushe Incident was a tragic episode in Taiwan's history that exposed the brutality and injustice of Japanese colonial rule. It also demonstrated the spirit and dignity of the Seediq people, who refused to bow down to foreign invaders and chose to die as free men. The incident has been commemorated by various monuments, museums, and cultural events in Taiwan, as well as by a memorial park in Ren'ai Township, Nantou County, where the incident took place. [^3^] 061ffe29dd