“ She is not me.
I am not her.“
WILD GRASS is a film about love and identity. Working in the power gap between females and males, citizens and immigrants, and colonized and colonizers, WILD GRASS weaves the personal with the political. The Chinese title “狂草/kuángcǎo/”, which literally translates to the English title “Wild Grass,” is a difficult-to-read style of cursive script used in Chinese calligraphy that emphasizes the aesthetic and visual quality of language over the communicative function. The silent narrator, who may or may not be the woman on screen, appears only through the subtitles. The subtitles serve both as my reflection on my own experience and as a translation of the image. The visual style of WILD GRASS imitates photography— as a means to revisit the past. By confronting the self, I hope to capture a profound truth about the social construct of gender and nationality: its impact on our sense of self, on our ability to communicate, and on the bonds that form the fabric of society.
In this post #MeToo movement era, I want to explore the impact of inheriting and internalizing an implicit form of gender inequality. In WILD GRASS, the woman outwardly presents an urge to please others by her appearance — the body of the woman in the Taiwanese TV show, the beauty of the main character, and my urge to beautify the film by manipulating the image. I am highlighting the link between the sexualization of women and the misleading sense of love portrayed on media to a woman’s sense of self, her sexuality, and her relationship. What will happen if her beauty swallows her identity and her body becomes a tool?
Born and raised in Taiwan, I often feel estranged from my country. Taiwan’s geographic, and political isolation builds on its colonized past, creating a subliminal identity crisis. I see a tendency of escapist mentality and unrealistic hope for other countries in my time. Based on a personal experience, I am experimenting on the form of storytelling to present the complexity of how one’s identity is formed and transformed.
— Shan Wu