Crime dramas dominate this year’s Taiwanese Film Festival

Taiwanese crime drama The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful won for Best Feature at the 2017 Golden Horse Awards.

Each year, the Taiwanese Film Festival brings some of the best Taiwanese feature films, documentaries, and shorts to Vancouver, along with special guest filmmakers. Since its 2007 launch, the festival has resented more than 100 Taiwanese films and hosted several filmmakers and directors. It has grown to become one of the largest film festivals focusing on Taiwanese cinema in North America.

Here are a few of the films to check out at this year’s festival, which takes place at Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) from June 21-25.

Lost Black Cats 35th Squadron—During the Cold War, 28 pilots of the Black Cat Squadron (a squadron of the Republic of China Air Force) engaged in a secret mission. Seven passed away during the training, three on the mission, and two pilots were shot down by the Communists and were held captive in Beijing for more than 20 years. 45 years after the last mission, this doc offers the whole picture.

The documentary Lost Black Cats 35th Squadron tells the story of the pilots who took part in secret surveillance missions in the 1960s.

The Scoundrels (2018)—According to a review in the Hollywood Reporter, Hung Tzu-Hsuan’s feature film debut mixes “’80s-style Hong Kong cops-and-robbers thrillers and grimy ’70s American crime dramas into a swift-moving Asian actioner,” and “serves notice that the short filmmaker with a flair for action is pretty much ready for features.”

A scene from the action thriller The Scoundrels.

High Flash (2018)—According to Asian Film Pulse, this police procedural operates “In a style much similar to Korean action thrillers… Ching Sheng Chuang directs a movie that tries to work on multiple levels, combining a story with many plot twists with social commentary, along with elements of action and drama.”

A scene from the police procedural High Flash, screening at this year’s Taiwanese Film Festival in Vancouver.

The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful (2017)—Asian Film Pulse called this movie about a female-led family “the most ambitious work in Taiwanese cinema last year.” In it, matriarch Tang Yue-ying’s willingness to do anything to maintain and extend her power and wealth is put to the test when her two daughters indirectly become involved in the gruesome slaughter of a family of friends. The movie won for Best Feature Film at the 2017 Golden Horse Awards in Taipei.

The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful (2017).

For a complete list of films, screening times, tickets and more, visit

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