Short film about foreign worker telling his son how great S'pore is suddenly too real

This short film was made before Covid-19 pandemic hit foreign workers dormitories.

Belmont Lay | April 24, 2020, 02:07 AM

There are a few ways to get an important message across to an audience in Singapore or anywhere else in the world.

Some of these time-tested methods include, but are not limited to

1) non-stop hard-nosed investigative reporting to throw things out into the open, or

2) first-person perspectives to allow others not in the know to commiserate, or

3) expert analyses to help everyone else become intellectually and emotionally invested in what is going on and perhaps imagine how to solve it.

But if all these methods run the risk of pushing the wrong buttons, the next best option is to rely on scripted skits fused with some hard truths in the hopes that the art and creative license taken can blunt the edginess.

Short film about foreign workers in Singapore enjoys second wind

Making the rounds this Covid-19 circuit breaker season is a four-and-a-half minute short film, Him, created a few years ago.

Him highlights the migrant workers’ plight in Singapore.

It is about a migrant worker's grin-and-bear-it conversation with his son back in his home country about just how nice Singapore really is.

Short film not new

The news that have swirled around foreign workers in Singapore the past few weeks as they contend with the spread of Covid-19 in their living quarters has found some expression in this short work.

It is almost too neat a prelude to the second wave of infections predominantly affecting the foreign workers community.

For those watching this short film for the first time, you can be forgiven for thinking that this work was shot and produced only recently with its timely talking points.

It is not.

Him was the winner at the New York Festivals 2018, as well as the China-Asean Short Video Competition 2019.

It was commissioned by StarHub Go, Threesixzero Productions in collaboration with Grid Synergy as part of the "Love In Transit" anthology series a few years back.

The short film was directed Gilbert Chan, 44, who previously wrote and directed the 2011 horror movie 23:59.

What happened previously in Singapore