The Man Who Couldn't Leave

P, 6+
The Man Who Couldn't Leave

Program Introduction







陳芯宜 Singing CHEN|臺灣 Taiwan |2022|VR360|Color|35min

2022威尼斯國際影展沉浸式競賽最佳體驗獎 Best Experience of Venice Immersive, Venice FF




Within the walls of the former Green Island prison, political detainee A-Kuen, tells the stories of imprisonment and persecution in the 1950s. Among fellow inmates, frozen in time, he recounts his own experiences and those of his friend, A-Ching, who never made it out. Experience the time and place, and the waiting, in hope, for a chance to keep the stories alive.

The Man Who Couldn’t Leave integrates the stories of numerous political victims of the White Terror and told through the form of an undelivered family letter. An immersive VR experience of hope, fear and camaraderie.



Director's Statement

The background to The Man Who Couldn’t Leave derives from documents recounting the experiences of political dissidents imprisoned on Green Island during the White Terror of the 1950s. It is narrated from the perspective of four symbolic characters: A-Kuen, who recalls with regret and his friend A-Ching – the man who couldn’t leave. There is also A-Ching’s wife, who held the secret of her husband’s incarceration for many years, and A-Ching’s daughter, who now inherits that story and is determined to keep it alive.

It also lets its audience feel the suffering and hopes of these people and conveys their desires for a better society; hopes that transcend history as universal values pursued by identity groups and new generations. In the end, it is only if stories are constantly told and the ideals and sacrifices of earlier generations are remembered, can the dead souls rest in peace and the spirit of an ideal society can be continued from generation to generation.