Martyn See said today that Speakers’ Cornered (up on You Tube), about the stand off at Speakers Corner during the IMF conference has been PASSED NC16 by the Board of Film Censors (BFC). He submitted it in Dec 2007 and now he’s got an answer.
I had the chance to see it at a recent screening and I have to say that anyone studying Singapore must watch it. Infact I encourage schools to show it as part of National Education too. I am not being disingenious. I am just suggesting that its extremely helpful to learn about Singapore by studying Singapore from different lenses. With the NC16 rating perhaps schools can show it, have a discussion about it after.
The Film Act saga is far from over with this BFC decision and it may be premature to say this: I am glad Martyn persisted these past few years. He was called up for interviews every few weeks for 15 months. They confiscated his tapes and camera and when the investigation ended, Martyn continued to make the same sort of films. Any lesser person would have clamped up, shut down and left long ago.
Are the suits are realising that the Singapore Brand needs serious work. Adrian Belic an American documentarian was in town recently and as I took him around, he said something that shocked me “I don’t understand why people here don’t seem to be in angst, that can’t be right.” He was surprised that most people he had met appeared free. Poor guy, he thought that he was missing out on meeting real people. It was hard to explain to him the concept of a soft authoritarian state. It might be too much like science fiction.