The Taiwanese documentary The Rocking Sky tells the story of the airmen of the Chinese Republican Army who battled the Japanese in World War II and covered the retreat to Taiwan during the ensuing civil war. Of that whole first cohort of courageous pilots, fewer than ten survived into the 21st century. Documentary filmmaker Tommy Tan set out to ensure their stories survived.
The Rocking Sky is Tan’s own written account of the making of that documentary. He tells the stories of his filmmaking team members and of the filmmaking process, a painstaking task similar to building a mosaic piece by piece. Into this story he weaves his own historical research of the war years in China, as well as the very personal tales told by the aging pilots and their families.
With its multi-faceted narrative, deeply nuanced historical perspective, and beautifully empathetic human connection, The Rocking Sky is a moving, inspiring companion work to one of Taiwan’s best-known historical documentaries.