Breakfast with Last Year When the Train Passed by

Meeting with...

Interview with Pang-Chuan Huang, director of Last Year When the Train Passed By

la mouche cf In what country and what regions did you shoot?
I shot this film in my native Taiwan, in the south and the west, where there are lots of fields and beautiful countryside. I took still photographs at the time I was completing post-production for my previous film, Retour, in 2017 (Labo Competition Grand Prix at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in 2018 – editor’s note) and I went back to the same places in 2018 to conduct the interviews.

la mouche cf What did you enjoy about interviewing the people who live along the railway line?
I’m always curious about the little houses along the railway line when the train passes by. Who are they? How old are they? What do they do? Thanks to the magic of photography and of the documentary, I was able to meet them and answer my questions.

la mouche cf Did you expect to encounter so few young people in these areas? Did you wonder where they might be?
Yes, indeed. As in all the rural regions all over the world, there aren’t any young people. I conducted 35 interviews and there was only one young farmer. Where are they? I think they’ve simply left the fields.

la mouche cf What did you find interesting about the fixed shots of the countryside or of the waterside?
The film is like the developing process for analog photography. I shot the photographs from the train, I waited one year for the memories to resurface and fix themselves on the photo paper, the shots of the waterside are like the developing bath. But of course, these are interpretive explanations, for me these shots are simply pictures from my trip.

la mouche cf Are there any particular freedoms that the short film format allows you?
Yes, we could say that short film translates as “Freedom”.

Last Year When the Train Passed By is being shown in Labo Competition L5.

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