Thursday, April 9, 2009


Artemisia (艾草)

Artemisia (艾草) Although Chiang Hsiu Chiung (姜秀瓊) might be recognized for her Golden Horse Award nominated performance as the middle sister in Edward Yang's (film ) epic "A Bright Summer Day" (牯嶺街少年殺人事件), most of her works have been behind the camera.

Some of her works are with renowned directors Edward Yang (楊德昌) and Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢). She is the assistant director in Edward Yang's "Yi Yi: A One and a Two" (一一). She also worked in Hou Hsiao-hsien's films such as "Flowers of Shanghai" (海上花) and "Millennium Mambo" (千禧曼波).

With that exceptional resume, Chiang Hsiu Chiung's feature directorial debut "Artemisia" (艾草 | Taiwan 2008 | in Mandarin | 85 min.) is nothing short of excellence. The film is an affectional and beautiful portrait of a loving mother Ai-chao who struggles to cope with her family's affairs that reflect the changing society in Taiwan.

Ai-chao (艾草) means Artemisia. It's also the name of this film's protagonist — a 58-year-old Taiwanese woman. When Ai-chao was young, without her mother's approval, she married to her mainland born husband who was 20 years her senior. After her husband died 20 years ago, she raised her son and her daughter by herself. Now, not only her children have grown up, the social norm in Taiwan has also changed. It's Ai-chao's turn to face the reality in her family affairs. Despite the conflicts and gaps in generations and culture, the bond and love in a family ultimately prevail.

This deeply affectionate and heartwarming film embraces family, love, and the turbulent journey of understanding and accepting each other in a changing society.

Artemisia (艾草)

Either coming from her own or influenced by directors Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-Hsien, the film definitely has a resemblance in the storytelling style to films by Yang and Hou. The film's engrossing story and lively characters are naturally developed and effortlessly win over our hearts.

"Artemisia" will be shown at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival on Sunday, Apr 26 at 9:15pm, Sunday, May 3 at 12:45pm, and Thursday, May 7 at 8:30pm at Kabuki Theater. Director Chiang Hsiu-chiung will be in person for Q&A at these screenings.

"Artemisia" is the winner of the Golden Gate Awards in the Television Narrative Long Form category at this year's San Francisco International Film Festival.


Thanks for the write-up on a movie that has almost no info anywhere else on the web (including the chinese title). I added this solely on the basis that it hails from Taiwan, where I was born. Now I very much look forward to this movie after reading this and the review from the chron.
The movie is NOT only in Mandarin. It is also in Taiwanese!!! Give the Taiwanese language recognition especially after it is spoken in the big screen. Same situation with Cape No 7 when it was stated to be in mandarin--that movie was also significantly in Taiwanese and Japanese. The movie after all is about Taiwanese life
"Artemisia" was one of the most touching movies I have ever seen. I recommend it to anyone interested.
Can someone give me links for English Subtitle for this movie?I can't find anywhere in web :(
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