Film: A Letter to A’ma

A Letter To A’ma (給阿媽的一封信)

“The greatest human tragedy is the loss of collective memory.” – Simone Veil

When filmmaker Chen Hui Ling returned to her hometown to mourn her grandmother, she was quickly confronted with the shortcomings of the family history, which echoes the chaotic history of the country, Taiwan, an island which has undergone four centuries of colonization and fifty years of dictatorship.
Through an art assignment for her students, she invited a number of young people to interview their grandparents and paint their portraits on the theme of family memory in a performance art project that took ten years: the assemblage of ‘group portraits’.
A legend of a Hakka commander who escaped death in Manchuria, a descendant of Skaro who walks along the ancient road of Along Yi and talks about his ancestors, a Paiwan “princess” with white hair who shyly remembers meeting a Japanese officer, a veteran who has been in the country for many years but still remembers his homeland, a family member of a victim who doesn’t want to recapture the pain of losing his relatives, a letter of death that was never sent, and a letter buried in the wilderness that was once written by an intellectual to escape the White Terror. The vault where the intellectuals had imprisoned themselves for 18 years to escape the White Terror. Listen to the new generation in Taiwan as they explain the migratory routes of their various ethnic groups, all of which eventually meet on this island. The process of listening to each other connects fragments of memory from different and even opposing positions until a group portrait is constructed.


Best Documentary and Best Original Soundtrack :
Les Rimbaud du Cinéma 2021
Best Documentary, Best Original Soundtrack and Best Photography :
Festival International du Film Indépendant SMR13, 2021
Nominated for Best Documentary :
58. Golden Horse Awards 2021

Hui-Lin Chen

Hui-Lin Chen was a high school art teacher before leaving her post to study cinema in France. After studying cinema, she returned to Taiwan and founded the educational project: “The collective memory of the island,” while filming the documentary “A Letter to A’ma“.
She has collaborated with schools across the country to empower youths in harnessing their creativity through art. The film testifies to the dedication over ten years of this project.
In 2018, she received an award from the Ministry of Education in Taiwan for her contribution to arts education for the younger generation.

A letter to A’ma (2022)
Project Title (Original Language): 給阿媽的一封信
Director : Hui-Ling CHEN 
Producer:Hui-Ling CHEN
Others : Hui-Ling CHEN(Cinematography) , TSAI Wei-Lung(Cinematography) , LI RU-SONG(Cinematography) , Zhou Wen Qin(Cinematography) , 許志漢(Cinematography) , Wei-Ting LIU(Cinematography) , Hui-Ling CHEN(Editor) , Zheng Yuan-Guan(Gaffer) , Guan-Lin ZENG(Gaffer) , Fabian Müller(Music)
Color : Color
Running time:97 min