The film starts with the last image of "Major Huang," Hsin-Yi
HO's beloved uncle, who worked on film editing all his life
and died of cancer on April 14th, 2008. Major Huang had
always hoped his skill could be passed down and he could
make a film memorizing his grandfather, Tien-Teng Wang,
who was senator and fought for human rights and sacrificed
himself for Taiwan's democracy in the February 28 Incident.
The film is Hsin-Yi HO's promise to accomplish her uncle's
life's wish and also memorializes him.
The performance of the vagabond circus is like a story
told by Major Huang who has been always cheerful and optimistic.
Behind their humorous and cheerful acting, it is the enthusiasm
for the performance art that gives them with unreserved
daring and an unceasing sense of adventure. They lead people
to view the history from another angle and to leave behind
the sorrow. Beef noodles- was Major Huang's favourite dish.
HO promised to cook for him when she came back home during
his hospitalization, but she had never expected it would
be his turn to see her in Paris finally. The image of cooking
beef noodles is fulfilling her promise. It also hints of
the brutality of the war and agony of the people.
"Hold your video camera steady, Don't move, Don't laugh"
were the words with a playful but serious tone that Major
Huang deliberately told Hsin-Yi HO one year before his death.
It happened to be the time that HO started to face filming,
this brand new method of creating to her at that moment,
seriously. With this film, she pays the deepest respect
to her dear uncle. "Hold your video camera steady, Don't
move, Don't laugh" conveys a devoted attitude to follow
and continue the career of Major Huang sincerely, to observe
a historical event seriously and to create the future heartily.
The burnt letter to Major Huang in the end of the film
transitions gradually to the image of HO's great grandfather,
Tien-Teng Wang, in the flames. We were told he died like
this in the fire. The fire burnt his flesh but his spirit
has perpetually stayed with HO's family. His showing up
in the end is also a greeting to the grandson he could never
meet when he was alive.
The film combines documentaries of the victory of the war
of resistance against Japanese aggression and World War
II, the regaining of sovereignty after the war, and the
February 28 Incident. Meanwhile, it footnotes each story
through the poems of HO's great grandfather, Wang. The historical
trajectory of Taiwan here is interweaved with HO's family
member's stories, the trajectories of the three-generation's