The Rice Bomber（白米炸彈客）
Format Color / Scope / DCP
Runtime 118 min
Release Date Apr. 4, 2014 (Taiwan)
Director Choi Li
Writer Hung-hung, ZIN Do-Lan
Producer LEE Lieh, YEH Jufeng
Cast HUANG Chien-wei , Nikki HSIEH, Michael CHANG
Festival & Awards
2014 Berlin International Film Festival – Panorama selection
2014 Hong Kong International Film Festival – Official selection
2014 CinemAsia Film Festival – Official selection
2014 Festival Cinema Africano, Asia and America Latina– Competition, Premio Arnone/ Arnone Award
2014 Five Lanes Film Festival – Official selection
2014 Asian American International Film Festival (NY)– Competition, Special Jury Prize
2014 Elles Tournent Women’s Festival– Official selection
As the agricultural industry is rapidly declining, he created 17 harmless rice bombs, in hope to wake up the conscience of the government.
Based on a true social event, The Rice Bomber depicts a series of bombing events in Taiwan a decade ago. It is a time when the agriculture is struggling to survive. A man strives to arouse the government’s attention and to revive its conscience by making 17 rice bombs.
In November 2003, the bomb disposal squad tries to dispose a “rice bomb” in a park in Taipei. On the bomb is attached a note, stating “Against rice importing,” “the government should look after its people.” Among the onlookers, a man recalls the beautiful rice field from his childhood, waving in the breeze. He is Yang Rumen (Ru).
In the late 1980s in Taiwan, the government expands the imported quantity and variety of agricultural products, causing the local farmers to panic. Ru and his brother, Cai, was raised by their farmer grandparents and he has been witnessing how they have been helplessly compromising with the circumstances.
In 2002, Taiwan officially joins the WTO and the Taiwanese government encourages farmers to have their lands lie fallow. Abandoned farmlands that were turned into industrial landfills have caused children in the village to accidentally fall and drown in it. Politicians in cahoots with unethical developers have been eyeing on the farmlands in his hometown.
Ru feels obligated to speak out for the farmers, so he approaches several relevant government sectors, hoping they could amend the policies to offer more support for local farmers, but all in vain. Finally, he decides to voice up for the farmers in his own way.
Through 17 harmless self-made “rice bombs,” Ru not only reminds the government and the society of the agricultural issues but also hope that they can take these problems seriously.
I am from Changhua, the central part of Taiwan, also commonly known as the agriculture city. This also makes me the fellow townsman of the film’s central character – The Rice Bomber, Yang Rumen.
Taiwan is established through agriculture. Agriculture is the foundation of all society. If agriculture is obsoleted the basic problems of survival would surface – What could we feed on?
Since November 2003, Yang started planting the ‘Rice Bombs’, and turned himself in on November 2004. Almost 10 years have passed. Over the years I’ve been thinking why. Why do the government who’re supposed to stand up for its people, always standing on the opposing side of the poorer commoners? Why do they always have to oppress their people till such extent to realize how much they could rebut? I’m not a social activist, neither have I participated in any social events. Filmmaking is the only way I know that I can express my love-hate feeling towards Taiwan’s society. I still hope that through films, we can let the world become a better place. Perhaps, every deteriorating society would need a ‘Rice Bomb’!
CHO Li, a producer-turned-director, graduated with M.S. degree in Radio/TV/Film from the Indiana State University. After producing critically acclaimed films with producer YEH Jufeng, she turns her career to directing, in the hope of developing multi-faceted genre films with her unique point-of-view. The suspense feature length Zoom Hunting marks a promising directing debut. In 2011, she also completed her second feature film The Next Magic in China. The Rice Bomber is her latest work, which is selected in the panorama section of Berlinale 2014.
2014 The Rice Bomber (白米炸彈客)
2011 The Next Magic (下一個奇蹟)
2010 Zoom Hunting (獵豔)
Taiwan renowned poet, theatre and film scriptwriter and director. He has written the script for Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day(牯嶺街少年殺人事件) and A Confucian Confusion(獨立時代), and has won Golden Horse Award Best Original Screenplay Award with the film A Brighter Summer Day and won Government Information Office’s Excellent Screenplay Award with the script The Human Comedy(人間喜劇) and The Wall-passer(穿牆人). In 1994 he established his theatre group and wrote and directed over 10 stages and musicals and received the 1999’s China Times’ Top 10 Performing Arts award. Films such as The Love of Three Orange(3橘之戀), The Human Comedy, A Garden in the Sky(空中花園) and The Wall-passer that he wrote and directed are well-received by international film festivals. Currently he is still continuing his work in the theatres, writing poems, literary works and scripts.
Taiwan professional scriptwriter who is very observant and sensitive to details in life, who cares for the Taiwan agricultural industry. Deep in her soul, she’s accompanied by a dog and a monkey.
HUANG Chien-wei as Yang Rumen (Ru)
Born in 1981, Huang is a Taiwanese actor and stage director. He has rich experience in stage plays and has acted in numerous films. In 2001, he won the Best New Performer Award in the 4th Taipei Film Festival Award with his performance in Summer Dream(石碇的夏天). In 2009, he was nominated for the best supporting actor with Yang Yang(陽陽) in the 46th Golden Horse Award. In 2012 and 2013, he was consecutively nominated in the best actor category of the Taiwan Golden Bell Award with his performances in the drama series “Innocence”(阿戇妹) and “Falling” (含苞欲墜的每一天).
Nikki HSIEH as Troublemaker
Born in 1985, Hsieh was first discovered by international renowned director HOU Hsiao-Hsien. In 2006, her role in Reflection(愛麗絲的鏡子) won her the 43rd Golden Horse Award Best Supporting Actress Award. In 2011, she won her the 13th Taipei Film Festival Best Actress Award with her performance in Make Up (命運化妝師) and Honey Pupu (消失打看). She was then praised by the juries as a highly potential actress capable of very different acting styles. In 2012, her role in Make Up also won her the 10th Italy Asian Film Festival Best Actress Award. In 2013, she was nominated for Taiwan Golden Bell Award, Best Actress Award for her role in the drama series “Die Sterntaler”(白色之戀).
Michael CHANG as Yang Dong-Cai (Cai)
Born in 1980, Chang graduated from the drama department in Singapore Nanyang Academy of the Arts. He has acted in several films and television dramas.
He was twice nominated in the best supporting actor category of the Taiwan Golden Bell Award with his performance in the drama series “Holy Ridge”(聖稜的星光) in 2006 and in “Falling” (含苞欲墜的每一天) in 2013 respectively.
LEE Lieh is one of the most versatile and renowned filmmakers in Taiwan’s film industry. She was a house-hold name in the 1980s for playing a number of ingénue roles in films and TV shows. Later on, she transitioned to TV production and talent management in her career path. In 2008, she ventured into the film business with her first feature, Orz Boyz, a surprise hit as a film on children’s friendship, earning more than $1.1m at the Taiwanese box office. Her second production Monga is an action drama set in Taipei in the 1980s. It made an unprecedented first-week box office record of over $3.5m. Her third production Jump Ashin! created a whirlwind across Taiwan and grossed over $2.6m at the domestic box office and garnered multiple nominations and awards in Taipei Film Festival, Golden Horse Awards, and Asian Film Awards. In 2013, she produced Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, which was selected in the panorama section in the Berlin Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. She has also co-produced Taipei Factory and Chen Yu-hsun’s latest film Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast and director Cho Li’s latest film The Rice Bomber with producer Yeh Jufeng. She is currently completing the production of director Yee Chih-yen’s latest film.
YEH Jufeng, experienced Taiwanese film producer, head of Ocean Deep Films. She has been active in the industry since 1993 and has produced nearly 30 films and collaborated with several renowned directors with a filmography that includes Murmur Of Youth, Fleeing By Night, What Time Is It There, The Wayward Cloud, God Man Dog, Winds Of September, Zoom Hunting and GF*BF. In addition, she’s associated produced big budget commercial films, such as Silk, Blood Brothers and Red Cliff. In 2013, she released the films Taipei Factory, Soul andZone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast and was awarded the Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year Award at the 50th Golden Horse Awards. With rich international co-productions experience, in the recent years, she hopes to continue to gather talents and resources, to produce high quality films of all genres.