John Lui Film Correspondent recommends

Film Picks



96 minutes/ 3.5 stars

Singapore film-maker Boo Junfeng is interested in the shockwaves caused by historical trauma as it ripples through the present day.

Young prison officer Aiman (Singapore actor Fir Rahman) lives with a historical stain on his family, causing an obsession with finding the truth. When he finds that a new posting puts him close to hangman Rahim (Malaysian film and television veteran Wan Hanafi Su, above), that itch drives him to take risks. The same hunger - or is it ghoulish curiosity? - drives a wedge between him and his closest relative, sister Suhaila (Mastura Ahmad).

This sequence of events is how writer-director Boo gains access into the workings of death row and the fascinating character of Rahim, the man with the hand on the lever.

In this work, selected for the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, Boo puts a human face on the abstract idea of capital punishment.


111 minutes

The tribute screenings of Prince's most iconic film continue at The Projector.

Family strife mars The Kid's (played by Prince, above) home life. On the performance front, things are not going well either, as members of his band The Revolution threaten revolt over his overbearing leadership.

In this florid 1984 drama, marked by long musical segments, Prince plays a thinly disguised version of himself (as do the other musicians, such as Apollonia and Morris Day). It is as close to a documentary as fans are ever going to get.

WHERE: The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Tower, 05-00 WHEN: Sunday, 7.30pm ADMISSION: $13 INFO:


54 minutes

Jason Soo's documentary looks into the arrests and detention of 22 people in 1987, for alleged Marxist activities, featuring interviews with the former detainees. The film, well-received at festival screenings here, is getting a scheduled run at The Projector.

WHERE: The Projector WHEN: Wednesday, 2.30pm ADMISSION: $13 INFO:


The O.P.E.N. section of the festival traditionally features fiction films and documentaries with bold, often experimental storytelling styles.

The Oscar-shortlisted Embrace Of The Serpent (2015, NC16, 123 minutes) is a dream-like trip into the Amazon, guided by a tribal shaman and a white botanist looking for a plant that will cure the ills that civilisation brings.

The American comedy Tangerine (2015, rating to be confirmed, 88 minutes) caused a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival not just for the uproarious performances from its transgender leads, but also for how it was filmed on mobile phones. Sex workers Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor) tear up Los Angeles looking for Sin-Dee's missing pimp-boyfriend.

WHERE: Various locations, including The Projector WHEN: Till July 9 ADMISSION: O.P.E.N. Pass, $45 for all programmes; single entry, $10 INFO:

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe