Artists' Television Access

Joyful Life/樂生

Global Undergrounds screening

Sunday, August 3, 2008, 8:00 pm, $6

Joy of Life

Lo-Sheng (“Joyful Life”) leprosy colony was established in 1930 on the Sinjuang hillside in the outskirts of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital. As many as 1,100 patients lived in Lo-Sheng. In 1954, Lo-Sheng’s isolation policy, which severely restricted residents’ civil liberties, was finally lifted. As a result, leprosy patients had the choice to remain, to leave, or to self-admit, which deeply transformed the community.

In 2002, more than one-third of Lo-Sheng was destroyed due to subway construction and other pending urban development projects. As a result, more than half of the 300 remaining residents moved into the newly constructed hospital nearby. Due to resident, student and human rights activism, plans for total destruction have stopped. At this point, the sanatorium remains despite continued pressures from the government, private interests and local civilians to excavate.

Conceived as a collaboration among the residents of Lo-Sheng, a Taiwanese-American filmmaker, documentary students, and cultural workers, JOYFUL LIFE presents diverse perspectives of Lo-Sheng residents in the midst of their activism to preserve Lo-Sheng and not be moved to a nearby hospital. Filmmaker-lead workshops prepare residents for their own storytelling and filming – creating an intimate portrait of a historically marginalized community and their inspiring determination to protect what they call their home.

The ‘drama’ sequences that the residents participate in, interwoven into the film, form a strong interaction between filmmaker-camera-subject, which is rarely seen in documentary films on the same subject. -Ru-Shou Robert Chen, Associate Professor, Department of Radio and Television, National Chengchi University

Screenings: Fukuoka Asian Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival (via invitation), Taiwan Public TV broadcast

Director Biography

Anita Wen-Shin Chang is an independent filmmaker. She was born to parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan during the 1960’s, fleeing a dictatorship. She grew up in Ohio and Massachusetts. Chang received her BA in American Studies and English at Tufts University and her MFA in Cinema at San Francisco State University. She has worked as an urban youth counselor in New York City, a civil rights investigator, and an education director for a San Francisco-based media literacy organization.

She has completed artist residencies in Nepal, Headlands Center for the Arts, Taipei Artist Village, and Hweilan International Artist Workshop. In pushing the boundaries of the moving image medium, she is always discovering ways to experiment with content and form, inspiring an active viewing experience.

Highlights: Her films JOYFUL LIFE (2007) and 62 YEARS AND 6,500 MILES BETWEEN (2005) broadcasted on Public Television in Taiwan. SHE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU (2002) was selected for the Whitney Museum’s American Effect exhibition exploring global perceptions of American society and culture. It was also selected for the Bay Area Now 3 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and included in the National Endowment for the Arts’ The Girls Project, an international media resource guide. Her body of work was featured by the San Francisco Cinematheque in The Spaces She Inhabits: An Evening of Films by Anita Chang and in Kearny Street Workshop’s Featured Artist Series.

Chang guest lectures on, curates and writes on film. She has taught documentary and film/video production in numerous university and community-based settings, including Film Arts Foundation’s STAND program for first-time directors from under-represented backgrounds. She has also taught abroad at Kathmandu Academy of Audio Visual Arts & Sciences and the renowned Motion Picture Department at National Taiwan University of Arts as a Fulbright Scholar. She previously lectured at San Francisco State University and San Francisco Art Institute, and is currently teaching in the Department of Language and Communication of Indigenous Peoples at National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan.


Lo-Sheng Creative Team/ 樂生創作小組

CHEN Zai-Tian/陳再添

HUANG Wen-Zhang/ 黃文章

LANG Cai-Yun/ 藍彩雲

LIN Chue/ 林卻

TANG Xiang-Ming/湯祥明

ZHANG Wen-Bin/張文賓

ZHOU Fu-Zi/周富子

Original Music Score by LIN Chiang/林強

Executive Producer  Sylvia H. FENG/馮賢賢

Producer  YAO Jui-Chung/ 姚瑞中

Directed & Edited by Anita Wen-Shin CHANG/張文馨

A co-production with Taiwan Public Television Service’s Viewpoints Program. Additional support from IDEA (Integration Dignity and Economic Advancement), and the Oral History Project/ILA Global Project on the History of Leprosy

Contact Information Distribution outside Taiwan:

Anita Wen-Shin Chang

P.O. Box 410172

San Francisco, CA 94141 U.S.A.

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 886-0933-508-884


Distribution in Taiwan:

Public Television Service Foundation

Guang-Fu South Road, No.100, Fl 10

Taipei, Taiwan

Tel.: 886-2-2731-6565, ext.300


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