The Blue Mansion played to a full-house yesterday with director Mr Glen Goei taking to the floor to field questions together with Mr Lim Kay Siu and Ms Neo Swee Lin.
The three were in attendance to help the Singapore Democrats raise funds.
The film centers around an overbearing and autocratic business tycoon whose death triggers much soul-searching within his family members and how, despite enormous wealth, the family lacked unity and happiness.
The audience was clearly appreciative of the movie’s underlying political message, not to mention its dark humour.
At one point during the funeral, one of the relatives commented that the deceased Wee Bak Chuan who ran a pineapple business empire would sue his enemies into bankruptcy if they said anything bad about him. The scene drew a knowing chuckle from the audience.
“It was hugely entertaining,” one attendee said. The audience peppered the celebrities with questions during the Q&A that followed the screening which ranged from the artistic to the political.
People often think that artists in Singapore work in a world of make-believe with little connection to what happens in real life. This was certainly not the case with the three. Mr Goei and Mr Lim expressed their concerns about the social and political problems in Singapore – and conveyed them in their work as artists.
Mr Goei noted that while Singapore boasted of gleaming skyscrapers, Singaporeans seemed rather unhappy as they go about about life on the island, an observation that was reflected in his movie.
Dr Ang Yong Guan, a psychiatrist, stood up to provide his analysis of the movie’s theme and characters. He noted that over-control of individuals by authority lead people seeking escape behaviours resulting in undesirable and dysfunctional outcomes. Wealth does not solve the problem. In fact, it may exacerbate the situation.
Whatever it is, Dr Ang pointed out, the movie must be shown over and over to as many Singaporeans as possible. The audience concurred with loud applause.
We will present a video of the exchange that took place between the audience and the artists.
One member of the audience was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the movie. “I normally don’t watch local productions,” he said. “But I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed what Glen has done with this movie. Very professionally made.”
So what is Mr Goei’s next project? The director was tight-lipped about it but he did let out a little secret: “The working title is The Hangman’s Breakfast.”
The Blue Mansion won Best Film at the Singapore Entertainment Awards in 2010 while Mr Goei won Best Director. The film has been screened at a host of film festivals across the world. For more information and to purchase the DVD, please click here.
This event was not only a successful fund-raiser for the SDP but it also shows that our message is reaching more and more Singaporeans and that the PAP’s effort to marginalise us is clearly not working.
More photos of the screening of The Blue Mansion at the photo gallery and SDP’s facebook.