SINGAPORE / 2004 / English, Mandarin, Teochew, Hokkien / Color, B&W / Video / 27 min
Directors, Photography: Gek Li San, Ho Choon Hiong
Editing: Gek Li San
Music: Ethan Tan
Source: Gek Li San
At the funeral, one of the directors discovers that her aunt’s death was a suicide. Together, the directors visit the site of her death—a cold concrete building—with the aunt’s husband and children as if to investigate the circumstances of her death. Reviving memories of the spaces that she once lived in through film, the directors points their camera in different directions as if seeking for something beyond the realities of the suicide. Family members and friends, convinced that they know the truth behind her death, are contrasted with those directly affected who maintain their silence. A sense of stagnation in Singapore emerges from cracks in the facts and in the testimonies of relatives as this film propels personal documentary into new directions.
[Director’s Statement] I have learned that it is impossible to have only black and white, grey areas spread as you investigate further. The more you learn, the less you know. Nevertheless, I have gained much in the process. I hope my relatives have done so too.
Gek Li San
It will be two years since Li San’s aunt passed away. Strangely, sometimes my thoughts return to the police officer who questioned the aunt. Although we did not capture his interview on video, we did speak to him on the phone and noticed that he was shaken by the suicide too. I hope he is doing better now.
I also hope that the family is moving on with their lives, especially the children, and that they do not become introverts like their mother.
Finally, I wish that in the near future, Singaporeans will gain the confidence to speak for themselves without any fear or repercussions.
Ho Choon Hiong
Gek Li San
Born in 1973, Gek Li San is a video editor with eleven years of experience. Her editing credits range from TV documentaries (Discovery Channel and MediaCorp Arts Central) to reality shows, entertainment, infotainment, sports and trailers. She has been actively involved in making short films for many years. A number of her edited short films have won prestigious awards overseas. Moving House won the Gold Medal in the Documentary category at the 2002 Student Academy Awards (the student Oscars). Happy Birthday Sharon (an experimental short film) was awarded Best Short Film at the 2nd AFM International Independent Film Festival in Istanbul, Turkey 2003.
Ho Choon Hiong
Born in 1975, Ho Choon Hiong’s debut documentary Goddess of the Neon City was short-listed as a finalist for Best Short Film at the Singapore International Film Festival. Since then he has produced other notable projects for MediaCorp Arts Central and Discovery Channel.
Innocent was screened at the Singapore International Documentary Festival, the Thai Short Film and Video Festival in 2004, Singapore Season 2005 at London’s ICA and won the Special Jury Prize and the Special Achievement Prize at the 17th Singapore International Film Festival.