The Priestess Walks Alone

The Priestess Walks Alone

Hui-chen Huang


Anu is a tomboy. Although, as was conventional in Taiwan of the 1970s, she married young and had two children, she soon separated from her violent husband and raised the daughters alone. Since then, she has only had relationships with women. She earns her living with her own team of professional mourners at funerals.
This is the setting in which her daughter, the film-maker Hui-chen Huang, grew up. Any doubts about the unconditional nature of a mother’s love are taboo in Chinese culture. But Huang makes this very topic the subject of this intimate portrait. She confronts Anu with questions that have plagued her for years. Using long shots, this film addresses areas such as trust, abuse and complicity, but in almost all cases they lead to a painful speechlessness. The confrontation culminates in a situation at the dining table, where all the family secrets are laid out on the table – in the truest sense of the phrase.

Presented by Landesarbeitesgemeinschaft Lesben in NRW

Film series Internal Migration


Hui-chen Huang


Che Lin


Nian-xiu Li


Giong Lim


Hou Hsiao-hsien, Diana Chiawen Lee


Diana Chiawen Lee

Hui-chen Huang

Born 1978 in Taiwan, Hui-chen Huang began working with her mother at Taoist funeral processions at the age of six. She eventually had to drop out of school in the third grade to help her single mother make ends meet. She learned to read and write from comic books and television. She has been a committed activist for labour organizations and trade unions since she was twenty, for example through her documentary films about the hardships of Taiwanese and migrant workers, which have been shown at numerous festivals around the world.

Films by Hui-chen Huang
Small Talk 2016 | Uchan Is Going Home 2009 | Hospital Wing 8 East 2006