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Invisible Nation film image; female politician makes speech

Invisible Nation

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Could Taiwan be the next geopolitical flashpoint? Another Ukraine — but potentially even worse? These are the spectres that haunt Vanessa Hope’s admiring portrait of Tsai Ing-wen, the first female, democratically elected president of what remains, officially, the “Republic of China”. A country only a little bigger than Vancouver Island, but with a population five times greater than BC’s, Taiwan under Tsai has attempted to assert its independence from the People’s Republic, just 130 km across the strait. This is no easy balancing act, when Xi Jinping threatens to impose sovereignty through diplomatic isolation and military might. As Hope makes clear, the stakes here are very high. The island is a strategic bulwark for the democracies in the Pacific, including South Korea and Japan, standing against an alliance between authoritarian regimes — China, Russia, North Korea. And tensions continue to ramp up…

Director’s Statement:

Invisible Nation is my effort to ring the alarm bells about that future conflict, one that, unlike the war in Ukraine, can still be deterred. I began this film with a grant to focus on ’Women, Peace and Security’ because I believe that we can learn to live in peace, especially by giving women equal treatment, status and voice, and that war need not be inevitable. I felt the subtext of the film on an emotional level throughout filming: that the discrimination, threat of violence, marginalization, and domination that Taiwan faces, that contribute to the vulnerability of its democracy, is not unlike the second class status and poor treatment most women face around the world which jeopardizes democracy everywhere. And yet, the women and democratic leaders of Taiwan offer tremendous hope for the future. We have a window of opportunity to act on Taiwan’s behalf now, before it’s too late. I hope that audiences see our film, engage in the challenging conversations needed for truth to prevail, and feel themselves to be an important part of the international community that can help the world see and support Taiwan.

Vanessa Hope, 2024


Timely and valuable… Compelling, engrossing, highly informative.

Richard Kuipers, Variety

Watching it, one is driven to anger and, hopefully, to action.

Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail


Thanks to


Vanessa Hope


Tsai Ing-wen, Hsiao Bi-khim, Freddy Lim

Country of Origin





In English and Mandarin with English subtitles


Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, 2024 Sonoma Film Festival; One in a Million Award for Best Documentary, 2024 Sun Valley Film Festival; The Cinema for Peace Honorary Award, 2024 Cinema for Peace Foundation; Audience Award, 2023 Middleburg Film Festival

85 min

Book Tickets

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Executive Producer

Geralyn Dreyfous, Sylvia Feng, Ming Chiang, Patrick Huang, Patrick Pfupajena, Danielle Turkov-Wilson


Vanessa Hope, Ted Hope, Cassandra Jabola, Ivan Orlic


Laura Hudock


David Henry, A-Ming Ku, Siuloku O., Justice Yong

Original Music

Wei-San Hsu

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