Derrick CHEW Singapore 62 mins PG13 (Some Mature Content) World Premiere
A poignant film adaptation of playwright Jean Tay’s biting critique of relentless progress.
As residents are being persuaded to join the collective sale of their housing blocks, an ageing mother struggles to hold onto her memories and community while her property agent son longs for a new life. Not just concerned with what’s above ground, corpses, bureaucrats and officers also make their case for how to use the land below.
Jean Tay’s 2007 play is updated in this film adaptation to reflect today’s contentions. What’s bittersweet, perhaps, is how Boom’s charming visuals of Tanglin Halt and Bukit Brown Cemetery on the eve of their redevelopment are a paean to Singapore’s built heritage and, at the same time, an archive of places lost. Boom is a moving, necessary look at the human dimension of policy and progress.
Derrick CHEW is a film and theatre producer from Singapore. His directorial credits include a theatrical staging of Boom in 2012 and the short film Balik Kampung (2011), a tribute to the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. He is the executive producer and artistic director of Sight Lines Entertainment.