Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not amused! The Ministry is harrumphing over the fact that organizers at the 68th Venice International Film Festival won’t allow for ‘Taiwan’ to stand as the provenance of Wei Te-Sheng’s “Seediq Bale” (賽德克巴萊). Organizers haven’t managed to go all the way, having only changed the original designation from ‘Taiwan, China’ (which is how Ang Lee’s Golden Lion-winning “Lust, Caution” was listed in 2007) to ‘Chinese Taipei’, the same moniker Taiwan usually uses in international sporting competitions. While the Ministry officially thinks ‘Republic of China’ or just plain ‘Taiwan’ has a better ring to it, director Wei Te-Sheng prefers to just let audiences enjoy his film, stating that, ‘The most practical thing is to introduce Taiwan to the world…there’s no need to say so much.’ The topper for most convoluted name-wrangling process belongs to the 2009 Golden Lion “Prince of Tears” (淚王子). The film was directed by Hong Kong-based Taiwanese director Yon Fan, and had its origin shuffled from ‘China-Taiwan, Hong Kong’ to ‘Taiwan-Hong Kong, China’, after Taiwan
had a hissy fit protested the misnomer.