Life on the Rooftop

Life on the Rooftop

2016 | Documentary  | Taiwan | 54’10” | NTSC | Color | English Subtitles

Director: Liao Ching-yao


Taipei is a densely populated city. Sandwiched between the skyscrapers and luxurious apartment blocks, the huts with metal sheeting constructed on the rooftops of old buildings become a dwelling system of its own. These extensions built by the property owners have existed for a long time. They can be seen in the city centre and prime commercial sectors, becoming a unique sight in Taipei’s skyline. Often they are referred as the “killer of views” or “tumours of the city”.

However, who are the residents living in the rooftop extensions built with metal sheeting? How do they lead their lives? Those who are interviewed in the film have nothing to do with one another. They have only one thing in common – they all choose to live in the so-called “iron-skin rooftop huts”. The reasons behind their choice vary, and they are not necessarily lowly paid or underprivileged. Sometimes they move in for the great view on the rooftop or the unusual lifestyle. Like the illegal structure of these extensions, some hold the values that are not accepted by the mainstream.  

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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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