Touch of the Light
Blind pianist Huang Yu-Siang stars as himself in Chang Jung-chi’s debut feature Touch of the Light, based on Siang’s own true story. Taiwan’s official submission for the Foreign Language Oscars, this crowd-pleaser earned both commercial and critical success in Taiwan, as well as picking up audience awards at the Taipei and Busan film festivals.
Siang is a piano prodigy born visually impaired in rural Taiwan. The fictionalized narrative follows him as he enters a university in Taipei to study music and is confronted with the challenges of living amongst sighted peers. Meanwhile, the beautiful Jie works nearby as a bubble tea vendor, and dreams of becoming a dancer one day. A chance encounter between Siang and Jie not only kindles a flame in Siang (who’s drawn to her kind voice), but also may just unshackle the two from their respective prisons.
While the film is officially “presented by Wong Kar Wai,” the film’s visual style is more reminiscent of the works of Shunji Iwai, with soft backlight bathing the characters in an embracing glow. But the true strength of the film is Siang, whose performance—not to mention his soaring piano renditions—inject authenticity and persuasive power into the film, all while encouraging us to listen, to feel and to find our own way.
Co-presented by: TaiwaneseAmerican.org
Executive Producer: Ye-cheng Chan, Dai Song
Producer: Hong-tat Cheung, Jacky Yee Wah Pang
Cinematographer: Dylan Doyle
Writer: Nien-hsiu Li
Editor: Nien-hsiu Li