Singapore Cinema in Search of Identity

  • Yvonne Ng


IT HAS BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE FILM PRODUCTION IN SINGAPORE WAS REVIVED IN 1991 after being dormant for almost two decades. At the time, in the 70s and 80s, the city-state was probably the only country in Southeast Asia without a film-making industry of its own. Then again, it hadn't been an independent republic for very long. A former British colony, it became self-governing in 1959. Following a short-lived association with the Federation of Malaysia, the city found itself a fully independent and sovereign nation in 1965. For the next twenty years, the government devoted itself to the task of nation-building and the challenge of changing the island's status from a developing country to that of a newly industrialised one. By the start of the 90s, it was clear that the goal of economic prosperity had been achieved. At the same time, it was equally obvious that in...