Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Warriors of the Rainbow": Disturbing Celebration of a Death Cult 

Wednesday, Apr 25 2012
Comments

It's not clear what Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale values more — endless preaching about ancestral spirits or gruesome CG decapitations. Wei Te-sheng's lurching historical epic concerns the 1930 uprising against occupying Japanese forces by aboriginal Taiwanese clans. Their ethos, explained in numerous dramatically inert passages by stoic badass leader Mouna Rudo (Lin Ching-Tai), involves honoring ghostly forbearers — who live in a fertile hunting-ground heaven on the other side of a rainbow bridge — by staining their hands with blood in beheading-crazy battle. The Japanese are depicted as evil cartoon racists, and yet Mouna and his comrades don't come off much better, given that their slaughter of men, women, and children comes close to validating the Japanese's negative opinions of them. The film's alternating talky torpor and frantic mayhem makes Warriors feel like it's operating in either fast-forward or slow motion, all of it set to soaring ballads with lyrics that further spell out the material's pro-lineage themes. More unsettling still is its celebratory attitude toward the aboriginals' death-cult mentality, epitomized by the mothers who abandon their young sons to hang themselves in sacrificial solidarity.

About The Author

Nick Schager

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"