SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

2 Film Screenings of The Taste of Apple and Self-censorship with Director's Q&A Sessions

Director Kevin Lee
Speaker: Director Kevin H.J. Lee (李惠仁)

Date: 20 April 2018Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 20 April 2018Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Film

We are pleased to welcome the award winning Taiwanese documentary film maker Kevin H. J.  Lee (李惠仁) to SOAS. Two of his films will be be shown at 14:00 and 18:00 on Friday, 20 April, respectively, in the lecture theatre KLT.

14:00 - 17:00 Film Screening of 《蘋果的滋味》The Taste of Apple
By Kevin H.J. Lee│ 120mins│HD│ 2015


In addition to deconstructing the development of Next Media in Taiwan, The Taste of Apple reflects the abnormal development of Taiwanese media and the casual adoption of self-censorship in the face of China and self-interests. When Taiwan’s freedom of the press must rely on a Hong Kong-based media group criticised as "sensationalist" for its defence, we are truly witnessing the greatest ironies.

 “In 2008, I shot “Eye on the Left”, Taiwan's first documentary about TV photojournalists, exposing the then prevalent use of “placement marketing” and “commercial news”. The film’s airing caused reverberations around Taiwan; however, seven years on, the problem of “selling the news” has gone from bad to worse. The Taste of Apple reveals that it was the “political forces” of Hong Kong, Taiwan and China that formerly controlled the Taiwanese media, and that today, these very same forces continue to control it, only in the metamorphosed form of “economic forces”. I sincerely hope that the next time I make a film about Taiwan’s media, there will be real improvements in the areas of “control” and “self-censorship”.”- Kevin H.J. Lee

A TV news cameraman since 1994, Hui-Jen Lee has worked at half of the dozen news stations in Taiwan since its expansion of cable TV in the 1990’s. He was a producer at Eastern Broadcasting Company (EBC) before resigning on February 12th, 2008, when the headlines of the day was the former vice-president’s becoming a grandfather. He has won numerous awards and recognitions for his work.

18:00 - 21:00 Film Screening of 并:控制 Self-censorship
By Kevin H.J. Lee│ 120mins│HD│ 2018
Self Censorship non Standard


At the 2016 Taipei Film Award ceremony, the director Kevin Lee won the Press Award for his film “The Taste of Apple”. In his acceptance speech, he thanked the existence of freedom of speech in Taiwan for allowing him to speak freely, while he also publicly criticized the Chinese government’s thought-control policies on the subjects of Taiwanese independence, Tibet, Xinjiang and the Falun Gong. This outpouring inadvertently became the inspiration for this film, “Self-censorship”. The majority of the project’s production costs were acquired via internet crowdfunding, which garnered the support of 668 sponsors. With an additional subsidy from the National Culture and Arts Foundation, the film was able to be completed in its entirety. “Self-censorship” begins by depicting a series of protests by the Beijing artist, Hua Yong, which eventually led to his arrest and imprisonment by the Chinese government. It subsequently moves to the mysterious disappearances of five shareholders from Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong, and then onto incidents involving Chou Tzi-yu, Leon Dai and Lee Ming-che. It thoroughly, and in great detail, exposes the Chinese government’s pervasive control over “Greater Chinese” society. The Taiwanese may think that they unlike Hong Kongers, the Chinese government cannot take any actions against them because they live in Taiwan and are not celebrities. However, the director’s journeys between China, Hong Kong and Taiwan prove that even the fate of a grouper breeder is determined by the whims of the Chinese government. Unless you have chosen to reject the financial temptations offered by the Chinese government and are determined to live as your own person and as a free individual, you will have no chance escaping from their control and your own self-censorship.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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