The Taki Vatan community of Bunun people in Wanrong Tonwship, Hualien County decided to retrace the Guanmen Old Trail in early 2018 to their ancestral homeland, the old Danda village in Nantou County. What motivated them to take this journey? It was the controversy over National Taiwan University taking the bones of community ancestors that made them decide to visit their old village. On January 24, 2018, a team of 25 people including student surveyors, mountaineers, and 6 young community members set out to retrace the steps of the Taki Vatan community’s migration 80 years ago. The journey brought challenges, including poor decision-making about the load each member would carry. Some were forced to turn back to Hualien, disappointed that they would not see their old homes. But the remaining team members pressed on and successfully returned to the old village. This documentary chronicles the struggles of the difficult journey and the deep yearning of the community members toward their homeland.
Sai Tasinunan was born in Hualien County, Taiwan, and graduated from National Taiwan University of Arts’ Department of Radio and Television. After receiving his degree, he worked as an assistant editor at CTV News, an associate producer at Waijing Broadcasting, and a program planner and editor at GTV. He worked on two Golden Bell-winning shows: an outdoors show focusing on indigenous communities (won 2007), and a music show for GTV (won 2008).
He is now a feature reporter and cameraman for Taiwan Indigenous Television (TITV). His focus is on news stories relevant to the cultures of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples.
He won a Cloud Leopard Award in 2011 for his feature story on the August 8th flooding of 2009, as well as a Labor Gold Award in 2014 for his feature story on indigenous workers in cities.
His recent work has focused on the issue of traditional indigenous territories, and documenting the return of indigenous communities to their original homelands.