Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 7PM
Co-presented with the Harvard Film Archive
Directed by Daniel Hui
Produced by Bee Thiam Tan, Joana Gusmão, Pedro Fernandes Duarte
2014, Singapore/Portugal, 105 minutes, DCP, color
Trailer | Tickets: $12
Filmmaker Daniel Hui will attend in person for Q&A.
In 2066, a survivor of an enigmatic cult recounts his country’s traumatic history and the events leading to the rise and fall of the cult. Through his reminiscence, ghosts from 2014 and before appear as witnesses. Part dream documentary, part city symphony, this film traces the lineage of oppression as inscribed in Singapore’s landscape and collective unconscious.
A Singaporean filmmaker and film writer, Daniel Hui made a dramatic impression as soon as his first remarkable feature, Eclipses, was released in 2011. Garnering comparisons to filmmakers—such as Chris Marker, Lav Diaz and Matt Porterfield—who meditatively work within the realm of the docu-fictive hybrid, Hui studies Singapore through what appear to be limitless mirrors, reflecting the many facets of truth told by myth, memory and recorded history. Actively and successfully fostering the unique voice of a new Singaporean cinema, Hui also founded the independent film collective 13 Little Pictures, which produced his second, immediately acclaimed feature Snakeskin. We are excited to welcome Daniel Hui here for an evening to screen and discuss his free-associative revision of history by way of both nonfiction and science fiction. – Harvard Film Archive
A striking vérité snapshot of present-day Singapore that doubles as a semi-mystical cinematic incantation conjuring ghosts from the country’s history, Daniel Hui’s Snakeskin ingeniously compresses past, present and future. In 2066, the lone survivor of a cult projects footage shot by his divine leader, who claimed to be the reincarnation of Stamford Raffles, the British statesman who founded Singapore. Both living and dead subjects candidly reminisce about love, race, revolution and the Malay film industry as muted images from 2014 of the city-state’s streets and harbors—key locations of the cult’s future founding—flash by. – Film Society of Lincoln Center
Winner of Special Jury Prize at the 2014 Torino Film Festival