A Holy Family
Director: Elvis A-Liang Lu
Taiwan, France, 2022, 88 min
Crew:Producers: Stefano Centini, Jean-Laurent Csinidis
After 24 years of absence, director A-Liang Elvis Lu returns home to his family in a rural area of southwestern Taiwan. His elder brother is a psychic that communicates Taoist deities’ career advice to villagers but repeatedly fails in his own entrepreneurial ventures in agriculture. Their father, an underground lottery gambler, reads everything as a sign of lucky numbers. What holds the indebted family together is the mother, who, embittered in mind and increasingly enfeebled, finds her only consolation in their Taoist altar at home and a continuous stream of religious rituals performed there.
The previously estranged family, where love and grudges always intertwine and interchangeably surface, slowly comes closer together through A-Liang’s lens. It is an intimate journey of home-coming, a portrait of rekindled family bonding despite differences in religious beliefs, and an unflinching tale of self-discovery through filmmaking.
About the director
Elvis A-Liang Lu is a Taiwanese documentary director. After graduating from the National Taiwan University of the Arts (NTUA), he worked as a director and cameraman on several commercial and independent Taiwanese documentaries. In 2017 he released his first feature-length documentary, The Shepherds, revolving around the story of Taiwan’s first LGBT friendly church. The film competed in the documentary section of the Taipei International Film Festival and was shown in the Sydney World Film Festival and Czech Euro Kino Independent Film Festival. It was also selected as the closing film for Taiwan’s first Queer Film Festival. A Holy Family is his second feature documentary.