Sunday, December 08, 2013

To Singapore With Love

To Singapore, with Love is now available on DVD and VOD. Its not available in Singapore only, Orders close 31 July.


The irony of it...

Dubai was holding the prestigious Dubai Film Festival and I didn't know about it.... UNTIL well meaning friends from Singapore send me a link to tell me that ILO ILO is showing during the festival! :) wahahaha...


I read about the show and wished I was in Singapore to catch it... and I was so happy when it won the Golden Horse Awards  :)

I quickly informed my friends and we made plans to watch the show together. I even managed to convince Max to skip his Liverpool game to watch with us. Alas, they rated this show as PG15.. Meaning only for 15 years and above. So cannot bring Ace... and if Ace cannot go, it means I also cannot go lor...

My friends went ahead and bought tickets for the shows they wanted to watch and then a few days later one of my dubai friends Merey messaged me and asked me if I will like to catch the movie titled To Singapore With Love. She has been given free tickets but she has already bought hers and so she is giving away.. for free...

The Singaporean in me who cannot say no to FREEBIES immediately formed a plan in my mind.. hahahaha.. Max was playing soccer so I decided I will just bring Ace and watch lah. I then found out that two other friends were also going to watch the show. And then Merey said she has two more tickets and I asked another two friends who said they were keen as well...  and the whole Jim Gang went to watch this documentary by director Tan Pin Pin.

As I look back, I am so glad this chance came my way (once and again, many many thanks to MEREY for the tickets!!) It was a great show! You see, the show is about this group of political exiles who were exiled because they were deemed dangerous as most of them were vocal and outspoken about having democracy, having a say in the Singapore they want to see... and they were influential too.

As a result, they were either sent to jail or ran away overseas with their citizenship denied.. never again having a chance to see their family in their homeland even though IMHO, they are the few people who sacrificed most for the country they still think of as HOME.

I thought it will make a good history lesson for Ace but was afraid he might be bored or might not understand. So before we went for the movie, I explained to him a little bit about Singapore's history and why these people cannot go back to Singapore. I also preframed him and told him it is a serious movie but it will be a very good chance for him to learn about SIngapore.. I also told him to treasure this chance to watch this movie because his friends in Singapore might not get a chance to watch it...

It was a great show and at one point where one of the exiles read a poem he wrote on the day he painfully converted to becoming a thai citizen, i teared. I could sense their longing to return home and perhaps as I was away from home, I understood little bit how they feel. I mean.. if me, who is away from home but has the freedom of returning anytime I like will still feel homesickness and sadness and depression from time to time.. I cannot imagine how much more their anguish must be....

Their exile means they might die alone, it means while their family gather during festive seasons, they at best can meet across the causeway... it means as their parents grow old and may die.. they will not be able to beside them to take care of them.. it means their children will never get a chance to call Singapore HOME and never get a chance to serve NS. What an irony that the people who seem to love Singapore most will in the end be denied the chance to contribute to SIngapore.

When the show ended, I asked Ace if he enjoyed it and he said he did and he even gave the movie a 5 out of 5 rating. There was a QnA and Ace said he wanted to ask why it is called To Singapore With Love... I asked him to ask but he was shy.. hahahaha :) (We did meet the director again at the foodcourt later and he did ask.. she told him that it is because they were like talking to Singapore and showing their love for singapore)

Anyway, I asked Ace again at the end if he understood the movie and he said, "Yes of course. It is about these people who cannot go back to Singapore because the government want to catch them and cannot see their family ever again."

Not bad.. got the gist of what the movie is about.. hahaha.. and then I asked him what he thought about the movie and his answer surprised me. "I felt a little sad for the man when he said that his son cannot do NS. So poor thing, he cannot do NS and protect Singapore,.."

I never knew Ace thought of serving the nation as that much a privilege.

After dinner, while we were walking around, I chatted with him about the movie. I asked him what would he have done if he were in their shoes... "I think mummy, if I were them, I will choose to go to jail..." he told me. (Cos many said in the movie that the knew they were going to jail and that if they did not leave the country, they will certainly be locked away for dunno god knows how many years...)

"But you might go to jail for many years, you dunno when you can come up.. you could be imprisoned for most of your life..." I told him. "Yeah... but I will still be able to see my family!" he reasoned.

If placed in their shoes, I dunno what I would have chosen. But I must say the price they pay for their fight for Singapore is really high. I think we are lucky that we now have the internet to express our feelings and I am glad also that many Singaporeans still love the country and continue the fight to build the country that we want to see.

PS: Tan Pin Pin won an award for Best Director her documentary!:) Congrats, Pin Pin! Here is wishing that all my friends in SG will have a chance to watch it too... 

You can follow their FB page for info about release in Singapore:

To Singapore, with Love is now available on DVD and VOD. Its not available in Singapore only, Orders close 31 July.

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