Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Film Festival will screen controversial documentary The 10 Conditions Of Love, about exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer, in a move that looks set to strain relations with mainland China.
The film, directed by Australia’s Jeff Daniels, recently caused a stir at the Melbourne International Film Festival where its screening led to the withdrawal of six Chinese films and cyber attacks on the festival’s web-site.
The Kaohsiung Film Festival, which will showcase 70 films from Oct 16-29, is organised by the Kaohsiung Film Archive under the Kaohsiung City Government. The 10 Conditions Of Love will be screened in a documentary section entitled People Power.
Kaohsiung Film Archive director Liu Hsiu-ying said the film is being screened because it fits with the theme of the documentary section and not because of politics. She said the festival currently has no plans to invite Kadeer to Kaohsiung.
Taiwanese KMT legislator Chiu Yi lashed out at Kaohsiung City Government for constantly straining cross-strait relations by introducing controversial figures or films to Taiwan. The city government last week invited Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama to comfort Taiwan’s typhoon victims.
The visited was severely criticised by China’s State Council and also halted a series of cross-strait exchange activities including official visits and conferences.
Taiwan’s presidential office speaker Wang Yu-chih said that in order to ensure freedom of speech, the Taiwanese government will not interfere in the Kaohsiung cultural event.
The Chinese State Council has not send out official comment on the Kaohsiung Film Festival. However, many Chinese newspapers are saying that the screening will damage mutual trust between two sides of the strait.