The Island of 1000 Violins

Documentary | 2015 | 52’56” | Taiwan | HD | Color | NTSC | English Dubbing 

2015, Finalist, Festival International des Programmes Audiovisuels (FIPA), France

Buried in the heart of a vast factory in the southern part of Taiwan, there’s a unique and startling collection of some of the world’s highest quality violins. There are over 1300 of them – many of them rare and bought at the very highest prices. This has been the passion project of the self-made plastics millionaire, Shi Wen-long.

This film explores the remarkable Taiwanese love affair with Western classical music. For a relatively small island, Taiwan today boasts an extraordinary amount of musical talent. There is a thriving classical music scene, with surprisingly young audiences. Many Taiwanese players have joined European and Western orchestras and played as soloists the world over.

Could playing an instrument or going to concerts – so popular in Taiwan today – still reflect a desire for social status and aspiration towards a culture perceived as superior? Not content with slavishly following the West, many classically trained Taiwanese musicians are exploring their own roots and creating exciting new hybrids that keep pace with changing times. Could this trend signal a re-assertion of Taiwan’s own traditions?


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About Public Television Service Foundation

Founded in 1998, Public Television Service (PTS) is the leading public service broadcaster in Taiwan. Operated as an independent public organization, PTS aims to provide value-added quality programming services covering a wide range of categories to present the diversity and creativity in Taiwan without the intervention of commercial and political power.
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