SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

SOAS CTS Film Screening: Sunflower Occupation and Q&A with Director Chen Yu-Ching

Speaker: Director Chen Yu-Ching

Date: 12 February 2016Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 12 February 2016Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Film

Sunflower Occupation



Why did students occupy the parliament? How did it happen? In 24 days, what changes did the young generation go through? 24 days later, what have they changed?

Sunflower Occupation


After the young generation stormed through the side door of the Legislative Yuan, it was like the door to a bottomless black hole was thrown open. Immediately came the most eternal and fundamental question: What is democracy? What is the government? What is violence? What is our future? What is the happiness we seek? Who is “we”?


And so the documentary filmmakers picked up their cameras and begin to tell stories of the heroes in the occupy movement, to disclose their uneasy feelings when facing the crowd, and expose how small they felt in the face of democracy.


Growing up under the paternalistic authority, when the youth became the occupiers, the occupy movement became their rite of passage. Confronted by family members who stand on the other end of the political spectrum, the youth shed tears but independence and awakening came right after. Young people stayed together in the surreal occupied space, they shouted out slogans while sipping their herbal medicine; they did aerobic dances and made strategic planning about the movement. Going outside for a smoke was the only chance they have to see the sky.


In and outside the parliament, aside from the young generation, there were also members of the Wild Lily Student Movement from 24 years ago, silently cheering along for the current young generation.


Some cheer for the young generation, while some remains aloof. There are always many versions of the so-called truth. The media remained in an over-excited state during the 24 days. And people continued to flock in, even to just sit outside the parliament, looking to volunteer and witness democracy up close and personal.


In the shots captured by the filmmakers, some of these young protesters came to the streets for the first time, enthralled with ideals but end up defeated by the state. They grew up overnight, or even grew old, contemplating the meaning between lives, state, violence and the meanings in relation to themselves. The filmmakers press on: when did the state apparatus decide to switch into violent mode? What was the logic behind the use of violence?



When the movement blossomed like sunflowers for 24 days, the rays of the sun also gave sunburn to the youth, challenging their friendship with conflicts. The fallouts were testaments to these young people. A more mature generation is waiting to reborn.

Now a question for the person with camera: why do we record?


Because we see lives devoted themselves into the movement of history. The Service Trade Pact dispute is a class issue. The dispute affects the lives of the young generation who have not yet had the chance to accumulate their own wealth, who were not born with a silver soon, who may be small business owners with little capital, and those who work for the thin monthly pay check.


As documentary filmmakers, we yearn to reveal the concealed truth. In pursuit of equality, we not only stand along side the egg, we also want to gently catch and protect the egg, hatch it and helping it grow. We aim to give equality a chance to flourish.


Sunflower is the symbol of the youth movement. It is also the filmmakers’ aspiration. The lights may seem dim and far, but sunrise will soon be upon us.


Speaker's Bio

Chen Yu-Ching

Chen Yu-Ching was born in 1975, and studied film production at CinéCréatis, Nantes, France. Her work focuses on human rights, human condition and environmental issues, and she would like to use aesthetics, words, images and various media to make the world a better place. She is a freelance film maker. She shot one episode of the film -  Sunflower Occupation.

陳育青,1975年生,於法國南特CINECREATIS電影學院研修電影製作。主要關懷和創作方向為人權、人的處境、環境問題,希望以美學、文字、影像與各種媒材來實踐理想,現為自由影像工作者 。她是太陽 不遠的導演之一.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: