The Peach Blossom Land
(An lian tao hua yuan)
Brigitte Lin, Chin Shih-chieh, Li Li-ching, Ku Pao-ming,
Written and directed by Arts + Design Thursdays series cocurator Stan Lai, The Peach Blossom Land is the award-winning film adaption of his groundbreaking 1986 play Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land. The film radically challenges the principles of filmed theater, featuring remarkable innovations in staging, in the use of song and dialogue, and in the convention of the “fourth wall.” Two theater companies unwillingly share the same theater on the same night, one rehearsing an epic melodrama of star-crossed love set against the turmoil of 1949 Shanghai, the other a madcap comedy. The stories of the two plays soon begin to overlap, revealing a shared concern with how the Taiwanese, traumatized by war and political terror, might retain a respect for the past without succumbing to its nightmares.