Tracing Sambhars2 - The Song of Life


The trace it leaves behind as a searching trail that may be traced by the hunters, ecologists, film directors or the Death.

The documentary film, named the Trace of Formosan Sambar (part II)- the Pulse of Life, was produced by the society of subtropical ecology and distributed by the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Taiwan in 2011. The film was taken by an ecological film director Si-Yi Liu who monitored the growth of sambars on the top of central mountain in Taiwan. Through full of ingenious story, this film recording the images of the four-season together with each developmental step of sambars also reveals the Liu’s view of life. Without any explanation, the metaphor is revealed by the sambars’ growing antlers in early spring, fighting in mating season under summer sun and dry bones on the land covered by snow.

Liu recorded the life of Formosan sambar in a long period time. He often took the video scenes that made people holding breath to see them. Especially, the process of birth given by a sambar with 8-month pregnancy was taken in the film. The front foot of a baby sambar came out, and then the head and finally the entire slimy baby came to the world. It was finally a big relief. Congratulation to the smooth delivery! Besides, the scenes and images include the Formosan black bears’ hunting at upstream of a river and male sambars’ antler-fighting behavior, rolling in the mud and scratching on the trees to compete for mating dominance that enable people irresistibly admired in heart.

The central theme of this film was set up between the director Liu and male sambar named Da-Huang. They met each other starting at when the director Liu made the previous film, the trace of Formosan sambar (part I). In every camping, when director Liu called Da-Huang on the mountain, Da-Huang always appeared in front of him. However, Da-Huang was lost when the last scene of the trace of Formosan Sambar part I was taken. The director tried to find Da-Huang from the trace marks. Would the director meet Da-Huang again? Let us find the answer from the film.