Tanjong Rhu / 18 min / HD /2009
by Boo Junfeng
Boo Junfeng is one of the most prolific short film makers from Singapore in recent years. Since 2005, his films have received several awards at the Singapore International Film Festival, including all four of the main accolades: Best Film, Best Director, Special Jury Prize and Special Achievement Award.
He graduated from the Puttnam School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts, where he was accorded the McNally Award for Excellence in the Arts – the valedictorian honour of the college. He is currently working on his feature-length debut with Zhao Wei Films, a production company helmed by acclaimed Singaporean director-producer Eric Khoo. The film project – SANDCASTLE – has been selected for the Pusan Promotion Plan 2008 and slated for production in late-2009.
This film is a work of fiction that seeks to bring to light a watershed incident that has been forgotten by many today, merely 15 years since its occurrence. While intrigued by the events that took place, I was cautious about turning it into a politically charged polemic.
By rooting the event in the personal narratives of my lead characters, I sought to humanise the episode and explore a more romantic dimension of the cruising area – one with casuarinas trees, silhouettes and a forlorn seascape where men sought furtive encounters.
A former military officer seeks closure by making a documentary film about a man whom he had furtively encountered in Tanjong Rhu many years ago.
Tanjong Rhu is a secluded beach on the east coast of Singapore, and a popular cruising ground for gay men. In an entrapment exercise in 1993, 12 men were arrested there and sentenced to imprisonment and caning. This is a fictionalised account of what has happened since then to one of these men.