CHEN Yen Hao
In November 2018, the conservative party in Taiwan scored a landslide win in the election. However, a 25-year-old politician was elected as village chief in Duke Hill, New Taipei City. As a fresh college graduate who identifies himself as a “rebellious leftist,” Shu-Cheng Kuo defeated three other candidates, all aged over 60. For many people in Duke Hill, it was unforeseeable. After his inauguration, however, Kuo’s ideals are severely challenged by his constituents. Trivial issues such as how to celebrate the Lantern Festival can cause dramatic confrontations due to the generation gap. Meanwhile, the former village chief has been blackmailing Kuo on social media, after Kuo ended his 16-year-long tenure. During the election campaign, Kuo said that he would solve the old problems with new approaches, yet the citizens do not acknowledge what he sees as "problems" and may not appreciate his novel "approaches.” In this story of a 25-year-old young man confronting complexity and uncertainties, will Kuo compromise with the relentless reality or will he succeed in changing the world with his vision?
After the 2018 election, my friends were all blaming the older generation for the results, with some saying that “Taiwan has been destroyed by old morons.” This prompted me to ponder what went wrong with our democracy, and how I could bridge the generation gap. In this context, however, Shu-Cheng turned into a politician from an activist. He will doubtlessly meet many obstacles in working with the “old morons.” I also once considered running for the position of village chief. Seeing a younger person doing something that I dared not do made me both excited and curious. Since then I have met with Shu-Cheng weekly. He is open and honest to me as well as to the camera. As a millennial duo, we are seeking to step out of our echo chamber and build bridges with people from different generations. Shu-Cheng’s four-year tenure will be an adventure not only for him, but also for me as a filmmaker. This film is for whoever still has faith in making a change through conversation.
CHEN Yen Hao