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The Secret in the Satchel
  • Documentary
  • Minority Services
  • 51 Minutes

¡§I don¡¦t know when it started. But I began to hurt myself¡K¡¨
¡§We took the stolen gun and wanted to help the girls get even¡K¡¨
¡§I started to watch porn since grade school. I always fantasized about sex¡K¡¨

For 10 years, Tay-jou Lin, director and university professor has read thousands of papers, reports and journals written by his students. Apart from the usual subject matter, they often contain drawings, notes, photographs, love letters, or other personal outpourings. This unintentionally gave him insight into turbulent private lives.

The director selected three of his students¡¦ stories and invited them to document on film. Dramatizations, animation and interviews with the anonymous students were then interwoven, resulting in ¡§The Secret in the Satchel¡¨.

The students and directors recreated the three stories, which recounted the students¡¦ past filled with reckless abandonment and bewilderment. The students did not grow up in an environment of good care. On the contrary, they were beautiful yet brave souls who revisited wounds hidden throughout the years, and, in the process, grew and got mature.

The documentary explores the complicated inter-personal, family, sexual, and violent relationships of the young students. In his narration, the director, who also happened to be the students¡¦ teacher, expressed anxiety and apprehension as he faced the harsh reality confronted by this new generation of students growing up.