Warriors of the Rainbow

(a commentary on the Taiwanese movie, "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (2011)")

Almost all colonized nations, if not all, had the tribal or primitive behavior of people from the Stone Age, wherein survival was the main reason for living. This “savage” behavior makes the “civilized” nations more certain of colonizing these lands, adding to the fact that tribal people fought with each other and still had no unity or concept of nationalism. This lack of national unity makes it easier for global superpowers to dominate these countries. This movie, “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale,” made me have full respect for tribesmen despite their bloody ways of living because they were more connected to the earth than the civilized people who rely most of the time on technology and rational thinking. This difference is portrayed in the movie in how the Seediq people have muscly and tanned bodies while the Japanese colonizers look very slender and sallow. In today’s world, behaving like a tribal man would surely make you a laughing stock, but I was so amazed by their sense of pride and dignity in the movie that I would have loved to be one of them. They were more connected with the physicality of the third dimensional earth, and I rather think that they live life more fully because they face life with more bravery than us modern people who hide behind technology and cement houses.
While I was watching the movie, I have seen the similarity in the struggles of the Seediq people and the Filipinos against colonizers. Besides being enslaved in our own land, we were also looked down upon no matter what we did. Whether we please the colonizers or fight them, the result is still the same. I remember one quote in the movie: “We don’t want to be savages; but however hard we try to dress up like the Japanese, we’ll always be seen as uncivilized people.” They’re like the Filipinos who were still seen as “indios” or “little brown brothers” no matter what they do; it doesn’t matter how high your educational attainment is – for them, you’re still inferior. Period. Going back to the Seediq people, the Japanese’s lowly opinion about them was already a big blow to their manly, tribal pride – how much more now that their hunting grounds were also stolen from them? I was seething with anger whenever a certain Japanese police officer would beat up tribesmen just because of an unintentional mistake, and fighting back does them no good but only more trouble. Despite the glory and pride in being natives, the story of our ancestors all ended up in tragedy the moment they faced a colonial power.

I personally hate to witness this evil transitional period that third world nations had to go through in order to get civilized. However, look at where we still are right now. We have adopted the ways of the Spaniards and Americans, we dress up like Europeans, we patronize Hollywood stars – but did that elevate our position globally? Although at the surface it looks like we have risen from where we were before, we are still at the mercy of these global superpowers who still usurp our natural resources while we still struggle economically and for our national identity which was lost through time because of the colonial impositions of their own culture to the colonized people who already had their own cultures and traditions beforehand. It is a sad fact that now we have little to be proud of and call our own, because the descendants of our struggling ancestors now are a little confused of their own identity. 


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