|12/10 (Fri)||7:30 pm||Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Space Museum|
|20/10 (Sat)||7:30 pm||Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Space Museum*|
*Q&A session with director
Taiwan / 2017 / 13 min
In Mandarin with Chi & Eng Sub
The Cao sisters started working at the areca stalls when they were students. Always polite and professional, their interactions with customers were never sexually flirtatious in exchange for business. Over the years they made a stable livelihood out of the areca business but not without a cost.
Chu Fang-i graduated from Film and Creative Media, Kainan University. She has directed and written for several films. Areca was selected as Top 100 of the Year and Honourable Mention of Documentary at the 2017 Taiwan Youth Micro Movie Festival.
The areca nut, commonly referred to as betel nut, is a stimulant that's also a popular food in Taiwan. The subtropical climate in central and southern Taiwan is suitable for growing areca palms. In the early 1990s, the output value of areca nuts in Taiwan was as high as 8.8 billion NTD, which earned it the title of “Green Gold” and made it a leading produce in the fruit industry.
Even after the government's “no encouragement, no counselling, no prohibition” policy in the late 1990s, areca nuts' output value remained high, matching mangoes. The areca nut industry has been providing livelihood for tens of thousands of farmers and stabilising Taiwan's agricultural economy.
Due to fierce competition, areca nut business owners began to hire young and good-looking women to wear revealing clothing and work as salesladies to attract customers. Drivers and passersby would stop by to look at these “betel nut beauties” working along streets and alleys, making them a unique cultural icon of Taiwan. However, “betel nut beauties” often face prejudice due to their work being deemed inappropriate by many. Some customers would even sexually harass them. The government has set regulations with the labour union to ban the betel nut beauties from wearing overly provocative clothing during work.
Screenings at the Hong Kong Space Museum will be available at URBTIX from 7 September.
Ticket Price: $70 / $50*
*Full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minder and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients
Tel: 2540 7859