SINGAPORE, PORTUGAL / 2014 / English / Color / Blu-ray / 105 min
Director, Script, Photography, Editing, Narration: Daniel Hui
Sound: Daniel Hui, Tiago Matos
Production Company, Source: 13 Little Pictures
In the year 2066, a survivor of a certain cult is handed footage of Singapore in 2014, said to show the “evil.” Who are these people recorded in the film? What does it mean to erase the past and could some kind of truth be uncovered if one were able to travel through time looking for it? The rise and fall of a fictional cult is overlaid with the myths and illusions which surround the founding and the origins of Singapore. The intersecting personal stories of people who lived through those periods reveal across time and space the lingering histories of repression and resistance that have occurred in this land.
[Director’s Statement] The 1950s is a fascinating era in Singapore’s history. It was a time when Singapore had the most vibrant film industry in the region. It was also a time of great political upheaval. Watching the cinema of this era, I have always found many parallels between its ideals and the ideals of activists and politicians at that time. Both wanted a racially-integrated society that is independent and egalitarian.
Unfortunately, a lot of this history has been either forgotten, erased, or rewritten. This film is dedicated to the people who have fallen through the gaps of history. Their ghosts remain with us, in our dreams, in our hallucinations, in our unconscious. In the deep of the night, when the ring of money has died down, we can still hear their voices warning us of the future to come.
Daniel Hui is a filmmaker and writer. A graduate of the film program at the California Institute of the Arts, his films have been screened at film festivals in Rotterdam, Hawaii, Manila, Seoul, Bangkok, and Vladivostok. His writings have been published in prominent cinema journals, including the Cinematheque Quarterly of the National Museum Singapore. He is the contributing editor to the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) online journal, Cinemas of Asia. He is also one of the founding members of 13 Little Pictures, an independent film collective whose films have garnered critical acclaim all around the world. He recently won the Special Jury Award in the Doc section of the Torino Film Festival for his second feature film Snakeskin.