Super Citizen Ko
超級大國民 (1994, Drama, 120 minutes)
In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles
The film narrates the political history of Taiwan over a period of 50 years, following the imposition of martial law in 1947 and ‘The White Terror.’ Suspected of being a leftist, Ko spent around 30 years in prison and institutions, always obsessively worrying about the fate of his best friend Chen executed in the 1950s. Their friendship and Chen’s fate is chronicled in flashback. Soon after his release, Ko goes in search of the truth and a part of himself. Only when he learns the truth is he able to pay his respects.
This intense and sad film depicts the mind of Ko as he wanders back and forth through time and space, history and the city, memory and reality. Using an idealistic political prisoner from the 50s to form a poignant contrast with the corrupt politicians of the 90s, Wan thrusts the motifs of “introspection” and “redemption” to the poetic summit using thick and heavy brush strokes, resulting in a great artistic achievement.
Director: WAN Jen