School on the Road

School on the Road-DocumentaryShiao-yun Kuo

Introduction to the Director

Director: Shiao-yun Kuo

Profile: After graduation from university, Kuo worked as a freelance film director. In 1988, together with the founders of "Fullview Film Studio", she explored how to make a documentary. She has long been engaged in documentary filmmaking, planning, and teaching. She prefers the documentaries with characters as the themes. Moreover, she has directed a dozen of such documentaries.

Representative Work

  1. "Being a mother, being a career woman" in 1998
  2. "Taste of Plum" in 2004
  3. "Rock the Boat" in 2006
  4. She finished the trilogy of domestic violence from the perspectives of three roles, that is, mother, father, and son during 2007 to 2012.
  5. "School on the Road" in 2013
  6. "Youth against the Current", "Three Short Films about Uneasy Life" in 2015


Film Description

  Video credit:

"School on the Road" recorded the participation in "Young Andersen School on the Road" initiated by U-Theatre by a group of adolescents from Taiwan in 2011. They adopted the special training method of U-Theatre, namely “Cloud-on-the-feet Trekking project”; they walked through 13 counties and cities in western Taiwan within 36 days. Every day, they performed in townships and towns. They not only learned how to relax their mind and return to simplicity and serenity, they also sat quietly for meditation and percussion practice, which requires a lot of efforts and energy.

Thanks to their excellent performances every evening, they received both applauses and learned discipline and respect. Though they were tired after Cloud-on-the-feet Trekking project”, they had a rewarding journey as they gave and devoted and deeply understood many things which they were puzzled about in the past. They not only had great changes in their minds, but also could confidently perform on the stage to present their brilliance. That was the power of art!

U-Theatre upholds the spirit combination of Tao (self-improvement) and skill (the learning and maturity of art) and teaches the art of drum at Changhua Prison for years to inspire the prisoners there via the sounds of drums. Ruo-yu Liu, the Art Director of U-Theatre, found that while percussion practice, the prisoners changed from being impatient to calm. And she was inspired that she should teach adolescents how to play the drum so that those with unstable emotions could find the power of inner peace and deeply perceive the power of art on the inner change of an individual. The documentary was included in "2015 Film Tour Show at Schools".





What We Learned

What we learned after watching the documentary

Everyone experiences adolescence. And everyone has a rebellious period. Based on "Young Andersen School on the Road", "U-Theatre" helped those abandoned find their real selves. I was impressed by one line, "Don't yield to fate, but create your own destiny."

The adolescents in the film had fought, escaped school, or even had tattoos to attract others' attention. Later, they became less unsocial or irritable, quit smoking, fighting, and cursing after learning the percussion practice, because they believed that they could become a real drummer. They could truly change themselves and became aware of their importance in this world. Finally, they not only learned a skill, but also regained their confidence. When they walked, they only focused on their feet at the moment. They turned calm to feel the moment. After walking for a while, they would have a performance of drumming. Mrs. Ruo-yu Liu said, "Performing is not a profession, but a power." When performing, one should concentrate on the center of a drum and stay calm so as to produce the sounds of drum from the heart. I was very touched by this documentary. I learn that fate can be changed. There are many different stages in life, waiting for us to explore, change, and create.

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Photo credit: Thunder King of Drums