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Films

A Letter to Another Me – introducing After the Snowmelt

by Fan WU, producer of After the Snowmelt

I got to know Yi-Shan, the director, first through her writings in 2016. In her incandescent poetic essays, I imagine a young girl, so disappointed by what adults offer in the classroom, and looks for freedom between library and nature. There was a strong desire to break free, to find something bigger and open.

In 2017, Sheng-Yueh and Chen-Chun’s accident was reported with in-depth interviews by BBC and many other local and international journalists (Link to BBC Reportage on their story: Missing Taiwanese trekker found in Himalayas after 47 days ). Professional mountain climbers called Sheng-Yueh’s survival as a miracle since to stay alive for 47 days in the snow requires strong wills and professional skills. But many regarded him as an irresponsible adventurer who eventually caused his girlfriend’s death. Overwhelmed by the public spotlight, soon he disappeared from the media.

It was only until a year later, when Yi-Shan approached me with the script, I understood three of them were very close friends since teenage time. The fact that Chen-Chun died for the dream that she too shared, caused a strong impact in her, that she felt writing is no longer enough for her to convey all the grieves and questions she had for Chen-Chun.

Their shared anger and alienated feeling towards institutions and social conventions remind me so much of myself ( and Holden Caulfield in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye). I too- shared the necessity of breaking free. However at the same time, Yi-Shan’s elegy to her dear friend makes me ponder: how much risk I would take to rebel such given circumstances, to seek for self emancipation?

At this moment of film development, we imagine the film as a gift for every grownup who was once a teenager, so curious of the world and wonders about the meaning of life, just like all the characters in this film. The story wants to offer a space we can look back at those small or big adventures we took to find our own answers. In this sense, I think, we are all survivals of our own teenage time.

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