“There is little doubt to Chen’s brilliance as a world-class artist.” – CinemAsia
Taiwanese glove puppeteer, Chen Hsi-huang, is the eldest son of Li Tien-lu, the legendary Taiwanese glove puppet master. However, Chen’s relationship with his father had always been strained, for he has his mother’s surname, as the result of his father marrying into a clan higher in the social ladder. At the age of 79, Chen set up his own puppet troupe, which soon earned recognition all over the world. Nevertheless, Chen finds no one to pass on his great skills, as glove puppetry becomes an obsolete antique art.
Being an avid fan of puppetry, director Yang Li-chou named his studio as ‘Backstage’ which means shooting documentary films just like the backstage of the puppetry, which is to assist human beings to reveal this world. A decade in the making, Isle to Isle: Father recorded the inheritance mission of the 88-year-old elder as well as exploring the conflicts between him and his father. This documentary film showcases the marvellous skills of Chen in bringing a glove puppet to life in the big screen, trying to inject the extraordinary charm of traditional puppet show so as to bring it back to ordinary people.