S'pore documentary to premiere at Swiss festival

The documentary shows a bottle labelled “Singapore River, 31 Oct 1990” that was found in one of the time capsules (above).
The documentary shows a bottle labelled “Singapore River, 31 Oct 1990” that was found in one of the time capsules (above). PHOTOS: TAN PIN PIN
The documentary shows a bottle labelled “Singapore River, 31 Oct 1990” (above) that was found in one of the time capsules.
The documentary shows a bottle labelled “Singapore River, 31 Oct 1990” (above) that was found in one of the time capsules. PHOTOS: TAN PIN PIN

The film on time capsules by film-maker Tan Pin Pin has been nominated for Best International Documentary

Singapore film-maker Tan Pin Pin will premiere a new documentary, In Time To Come, in Switzerland next month.

Her work, about the the opening and sealing of two time capsules, will screen at the Visions du Reel festival in Nyon, Switzerland, where it has been nominated in the Best International Documentary category. It was selected from more than 3,000 submissions.

In an e-mail interview, Tan, 47,  says: "Time capsules embody man's desire to contain the past, present and future, all in one object.

"So time capsules are very similar to films in their ability to reference multiple time dimensions simultaneously. I am fascinated by this."

Her new film, she adds, is a travelogue and does not contain interviews. It was shot over four years and was conceived before her last full-length documentary, To Singapore, With Love (2013), was made.

To Singapore, With Love featured nine political exiles talking about leaving Singapore and what the country means to them today.

In 2014, it was given a rare Not Allowed For All Ratings classification by the Media Development Authority.  The reason given was that Tan's sympathetic portrayal of the exiles allegedly legitimises violence and subversion in politics.

She says of the new work: "Though this film is more contemplative, I don't see it as any less political insofar as any representation is political. Anyway, I am glad it is completed and screening widely in four festivals and competing for Best International Documentary at three of them."

From Nyon, the film will tour festivals in Toronto, Canada; Sao Paolo, Brazil; and New York, the United States. 

There is a Singapore release planned for the second half of this year.

The 62-minute work is Tan's fourth full-length documentary. She also wrote and directed the short film Pineapple Town for the omnibus 7 Letters (2015).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore documentary to premiere at Swiss festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe