A ‘secret’ screening

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We were hurdled in this room for a screening of films that would be considered “political”. As political screenings (its kept deliberately vague what this is) aren’t allowed under the Film Act without huge penalties for the organisers (Martyn, Choon Hiong) and the screening venue (Post Museum), we all had to pre-register to give the event a semblance of it being a private gathering which was presumably less culpable.

Martyn showed Speakers Cornered, Choon Hiong showed ????? and Seelan Palay showed a short film of his protest against the Hindraf activists’ incarceration. There were several filmmakers amongst us there as were opposition politicians and their grassroots helpers who were the subject of the videos, we sat crossed legged on the floor alert and watching.

Now that the Film Act will be applied with a “lighter touch” (what does this mean?) on political films, do we need to go through this pre-registration process? I hope they will re-submit the films for censorship so that we can see where each of these films stand.

The re-look into the Film Act wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t persisted. My hats off to Martyn for being so steady when the whole weight of the governmental machinery bore down on him for so many months. There is definitely a place for civil disobedience in Singapore.

Left to right Ho Choon Hiong (in red), Martyn See, Seelan Palay