Transforming frontiers : the imagined geography of Taiwan's internal frontiers in postwar indigenous films

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


<Eng>This article is a study of the 'imagined geography' of Taiwan's alpine, plains, and island frontiers in two dozen films featuring indigenous peoples. I make the following observations and arguments: Many pre-1987 alpine films were produced by government studios, which tried to tum the indigenous high mountain frontier into a Chinese national space. The plains frontier did not feature in cultural production until the 1980s, in two films made by mainlanders in response to the rise of Taiwanese nationalism. Taiwan's island frontier (Orchid Island) has been consistently exoticized to promote tourism. Yet all three frontiers have undergone a process of representational Sinicization and Indigenization, with a corresponding shift in the agency of transformation, from center to frontier. The shift takes place around the lifting of Martial Law in 1987. In pre-1987 films, Chinese settlers transform frontier landscapes and indigenous peoples, while in post-1987 films, indigenous frontier landscapes transform Chinese (or Taiwanese) visitors, making them start to reflect on their way of life. <Eng> <Chi>本文針對台灣戰後二十幾部原住民主題電影,分析山地、平地、島嶼三種邊界的「想像地理」,進而提出以下觀察與論點:多部戒嚴時期的山地邊界電影為國家製片廠所製,圖以將原住民所屬的高山邊界改變為中國的國家空間;兩部平地邊界電影到了1980年代才出現,是兩位大陸導演對台灣國族主義的崛起的反應;台灣的島嶼邊界電影(即蘭嶼電影)傾向於使用異國情調來推動觀光。不過,三種邊界在原住民主題電影中都經過「華化」與「原化」的過程,而變化的動力在解嚴前後從中央轉移到邊界:解嚴前,華人「化」邊界風景與原住民族;解嚴後,原住民所居住的邊界風景「化」華人(或台灣人),使其開始反省自己的生活方式。<Chi>
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-114
Number of pages48
JournalTaiwan Journal of Indigenous Studies = 台灣原住民族研究季刊
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • frontier
  • imagined geography
  • indigenous film
  • landscape representation
  • Taiwan
  • 邊界
  • 想像地理
  • 原住民電影
  • 風景再現
  • 台灣

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