My grandmother was a T’ung-yang-hsi. She has lived up to her fate. T’ung-yang-hsi is the traditional practice of pre-arranged marriage, selling a young girl to another family to be raised as a future daughter-in-law in productive roles. Focusing on female issues, the film aims to reflect upon women’s oppression and struggle for freedom. Trying to be true to the historical context in Taiwan, the narration is based on interviews with the director’s grandmother’s children, and research in feminism in animated short films during the pre-production stage.
From personal witness to the general phenomenon in society, the audiences may glimpse the long past, imagine women’s situation in our own times, and look forward to striving for real gender equality in the future. Egg is an important symbol in the film. As the metaphor of women in the film, the eggs are the symbolization of the productive roles in the male-dominated society. After labor and oppression experienced by a T’ung-yang-hsi, the film reaches its climax with Hakka ‘Old Mountain Song’ combined with turbulent waves. Behind the rail track, there is the sea. Across the sea, therein lies freedom.
Eggs are fragile but tough. My grandmother is an egg.