TPNWCP Hou Chi-Jan Series: "Panana (派娜娜)" 7-Day Film Screening

Key information

10:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Virtual Event

About this event

*As part of the 2020 Taiwan Post-New Wave Cinema Project, we kindly ask that you register to view this film through Eventbrite .


Panana, a name you may have never heard before, was an Indigenous girl from Taiwan’s Tsou tribe, and also a popular singer during the 50’ in Taiwan. Panana’s birth name is Kao Chu-hua. She graduated from Taichung University of Education and worked as a teacher at Alishan Elementary School. Her father, Kao Yi-sheng (1908-1954), was the township mayor of Alishan, and a Tsou musician. In 1952, Kao Chu-hua was accepted to Columbia University. While she was planning to study in the US, her father was suddenly arrested by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as a political prisoner during the period of White Terror. The Kao’s family was in decline and financial ruin, so Kao Chu-hua quit school, and started to work as a singer in a high paying club to financially support her family. To avoid getting into trouble because of her father, she took the stage name “Panana” and used it instead of her real name.

Panana was well known for her Spanish songs. Her good looks, wild voice, and attractive dancing resulted in a quick rise to fame. During her stage career, Panana was so popular that many bigwigs became fans of her. Major record labels tried to sign her with promises of cash, but she turned them all down. Because, often after her show, secret agents would take her in for interrogation, making deals with her, in exchange for her father’s rescue.

Panana passed away on February 20, 2016. As the daughter of a victim to the White Terror, Panana avoided further political persecution by deciding not to release a single record in her entire life.

Director Hou Chi-Jan

Born on 15th November 1973 in Taipei. Writer and film director. Having worked on the “Database of Taiwan Cinema” since his collage days, Hou’s works tend to be lyrical and stylish, and are often characterized by the theme of time and memory. His experimental short “Stardust 15749001” won the Grand Prix at the Taipei International Film Festival in 2003. Hou's second short “My 747” won the Grand Prix at the Hong Kong IFVA Independent Short Film & Video Award in 2006. His documentary work “Taiwan Black Movies”, presenting the cult films of the repressive age of Taiwan's 1970s, was nominated for the Golden Horse Awards and invited to many international film festivals. His first feature film “One Day” was officially selected in the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: ml156@soas.ac.uk