As part of its 60th anniversary, the Singapore Film Society (SFS) has programmed a series of independent award winning documentary films between September to October as its core screenings in the lead up to the Singapore premiere of Sandi Tan’s award-winning SHIRKERS on 20 October.
One of them is Nora Lam’s Lost in the Fumes, a documentary about Edward Leung, the Hong Kong student and activist who rose to prominence during the Mong Kok protest in 2016 and subsequently stood for election to the Legislative Council, when only in his twenties.
Leung’s story is told in a very matter of fact tone and in a rather unvarnished fashioned as well. Focusing on Leung almost exclusively, Lam provides no commentary on Leung’s motivations or actions during his controversial political misadventure.
Almost zero context is provided and viewers not familiar with Hong Kong’s political situation will find the movie a bit hard to follow, especially when Lam decides to resort to a non-linear narrative on occasion.
Halfway through the documentary, it becomes apparent that Lost in the Fumes is less about the politics and more about the nature of idealism in a place where harsh pragmatism is served often with violent means.
One may either draw the conclusion that Leung is somewhat inconsequential in the grand scheme of things or a vital first step in the pursuit of democracy. To Lam’s credit, she leaves that assessment entirely up to the viewer.
For more information, please visit the SFS website.
Lost in the Fumes will be screened on 19 September 2018 (Wed), GV Paya Lebar 9.00pm to 10.40pm
… still there’s more …