New Take

by Mark Forman on July 22, 2019

The "New Take" post title is multi-leveled. Firstly it is a new take on the header shot for this site. Secondly, it represents some other new takes happening in my professional life: adding new business services focused on the Taiwan export manufacturing market. These involve marketing consulting with emphasis on effective business English communications. Finally, and old friend of mine approached me with an idea for a possible documentary film about his father-in-law. There is a great "human story" in this man's life:

An orphan from China, adopted into another family. Loved by his mother because at an early age, maybe three, he stood between his adoptive mother and adoptive father, who was loudly, perhaps drunkenly, abusing the poor women. The little boy comes between them and shakes his fist at the man towering over him, diffusing the situation somehow.

At 15 or so (he lied about his age so he could sign up) he joined the People's Liberation Army so he could have food to eat. They put him on a ship to Korea, where he could reasonably have expected to die. The Chinese were sending waves of soldiers against American machine guns in the Korean conflict, to see if they would run out of bullets. The Russians had promised air support but it never arrived.

His boat was sunk by an Republic Of China ship. He and several others were pulled out of the water and rescued. He was jailed as a political prisoner. His cell mate was an author jailed during the white terror for political writings. This learned scholar taught him to read and write.

He was eventually released as a member of the ROC army. I don’t know how much ‘fudging’ of records was involved. There is still some dispute between his actual and official birthday, and even his age.

He went on to make propaganda films for recruitment into the ROC army. You ,ight have seen clips of such buddy-buddy army comradery black-and-white stuff. I don’t know how many they cranked out or how many he was involved in. They remind Taiwanese of a "certain age" of a nostalgic period of time.

He was a director or producer of TV and radio in Taipei, until his wife called him home to Taichung. He won national level awards. There are photos online....

I'm currently in discussions with a creative media friend to see about possibly doing this project together. Will keep you updated.