Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2014 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project The Priestess Walks Alone
Category DongSeo Asia Fund
Project The Priestess Walks Alone
Director HUANG Hui-Chen
Country Taiwan
Director's Profile Huang Hui-chen is an activist, documentary filmmaker, and full-time mom. Prior to embarking on her first feature documentary, Hui-chen worked for NGOs such as the Taiwan International Workers’ Association, and the China Time’s Trade Union, advocating for labor rights. It was during this time that Huang began documenting the plight of the disadvantaged and the voiceless. Her intimate profiles of the less fortunate and the exploited became tools for social change. In 2009, Huang was Secretary General of the Taipei Documentary Union. In 2012, The Priestess Walks Alone was awarded Best Pitch, and Best International Potential at the annual CNEX Chinese Documentary Forum.
My mom Hong Anu was born into a conservative, patriarchal family in central Taiwan. Anu’s fate was determined the moment she entered this world, as was mine. From an early age, Anu resigns herself to a life on her own. She prefers women, but she cannot escape the path chosen for her. At 20, her parents marry Anu off. She spends the next 10 years in misery. My dad was a violent drunk. Memories of their shouting echo in my mind. My mom, my sister and I lived in constant fear for our lives. In addition to the violence, mom also endured another form of abuse. With just twenty-dollars in her pocket and the clothes on our backs, we escaped dad’s violent home when I was ten years old. Mom finds work as a priestess for Taiwanese funeral ceremonies. Soon, I also work at the ceremonies. I hate the work because it means missing school. Eventually, I drop out of school in order to work full-time. I spend the next 25 years of my life resenting and hating mom for not providing me with a normal life. Now that I’m a mother myself, I must learn to love my mom again.
Director's Note
Still Cut