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Home The News News Film on activist Su Beng gets premiere in Taipei

Film on activist Su Beng gets premiere in Taipei

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Former vice president Annette Lu, left, and Taiwan independence activist Su Beng share a light moment at the screening of a documentary about Su in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

An audience of more than 100 people — including long-term Taiwan independence advocate Su Beng (史明) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) — responded with laughter and tears during the premiere of The Revolutionist (革命進行式), a documentary on Su.

“My life is full of surprises — I am very surprised actually that people would make a movie about my life,” Su told reporters before the screening.

Born and raised in a wealthy family in Taipei’s Shilin District (士林), Su said his family hoped that he would go to medical school, become a doctor and lead a stable life.

However, Su considered that lifestyle “boring,” and ran away from home to attend Waseda University in Tokyo, becoming a Marxist while studying political science there.

He then left for China to join Chinese Communist Party (CCP) troops battling Japanese invaders.

Witnessing brutal murders by communist soldiers, Su decided that the CCP was deviating away from true Marxist ideology, and escaped from China with his Japanese girlfriend, Kyoko Hiraga — whom he met in China — to Taiwan.

Because of his activities against the then-authoritarian Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime, he was again forced to leave Taiwan for Japan.

In Japan, he opened a restaurant and secretly trained young Taiwanese independence activists; he also wrote a classic account of Taiwan’s history.

Although the restaurant was profitable, he used most of his money to sponsor political activism in Taiwan.

Hiraga eventually left him, after more than 20 years together.

For the first time, Hiraga appeared onscreen in an interview in the documentary.

“After we broke up, I gave her a store so that she could collect the rent, and we still got together and chatted from time to time,” Su said. “You know, everyone has something in the past that he or she would always keep in mind.”

Su said that even though the team has traveled with him around Taiwan and Japan to film: “It is regrettable that we cannot go to China to film.”

“Fortunately, there are some photographs with which I could remember my eight years in China,” he added.

The documentary is to hit theaters nationwide on Feb. 26.

Source: Taipei Times - 2015/01/25

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