2024 | Narrative Short | 18 MIN. | Tayal, Mandarin
TAYAL FOREST CLUB
"Ancestors! We’ve gotten stuck here. Can you help us find the way home?” pleads Yukan, an Atayal teenager lost in the forests of his forefathers.
Bullied at school and weighed down at home by his dad’s drinking, Yukan is eager to escape it all. When his best friend, Watan, invites him on a hike, a physically and emotionally bruised Yukan grabs his machete and the two boys head into the woods. But this isn’t just any hike, or just any woods — as Yukan and Watan’s youthful overconfidence runs them up against the realities of nightfall in the dense and mountainous Atayal homelands, other forces begin to reveal themselves. Before they can find a way home, these two young Tayal men must first humble themselves enough to learn the lessons that the land itself has to offer.
In TAYAL FOREST CLUB, Taiwan’s first Indigenous female film director, Laha Mebow, shares a coming-of-age tale that interweaves Tayal characters, settings, and symbols with the complexities arising from her community’s interactions with contemporary society.