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15 Films you cannot miss at the 28th Singapore International Film Festival 2017

We present a list of fifteen films you cannot miss at the 28th Singapore International Film Festival 2017 that will take place from November 23rd until December 3rd, in Singapore.

A Skin So Soft (Ta Peau Si Lisse) by Denis Cote – Canada | 2017 – 94 min.

Six men from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common – their obsession to achieve the perfect physique through bodybuilding. Quietly observational, A Skin So Soft captures the intense commitment these men have towards maintaining and improving their bodies to satisfy their own vanities. Scenes of rippling muscle and gleaming skin are juxtaposed with ordinary sequences of family time and work; their overtly muscled bodies attaining a faintly ludicrous, yet luminous, quality. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 26th, 2017 | Sunday | Filmgarde Bugis+ | 4:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Ajji (Granny) by Devashish Makhija – India | India – 102 min.

What could have been another exercise in the rape-revenge genre is lifted into an evocative fable about the reciprocal exchange of extrajudicial powers between the oppressor to the oppressed. Taking its cue from Little Red Riding Hood, Ajji is a gritty slew of pent-up emotion, taking place in the shadowy alleys of a slum that could very well be a forest rife with wolves and their wayward desires.

As the law dispenses fear rather than justice when a girl was brutally raped, her 65 year-old grandmother finds herself drawn towards bitter vengeance. Within her calm disposition, lies a naïve child-like determination and a sense of justice that seems misplaced and fantastical within the contours of a bleak debilitating oppression. Awakened instincts lead her closer towards an encounter with the perpetrator, a man of power and willful perversions. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 27th, 2017 | Monday | National Gallery Singapore | 9:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Angels Wear White by Vivian Qu – China | 2017 – 107 min.

In a small coastal town in China, a teenage receptionist turns her gaze towards the CCTV to observe a middle-aged man and two schoolgirls checking into a motel. With this fateful bout of voyeuristic curiosity, Mia becomes the sole witness to a sexual assault.

Schedule:
November 23rd, 2017 | Thursday | Marina Bay Sands | 8:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Aqérat (We the Dead) by Edmund Yeo – Malaysia | 2017 – 102 min.

Hui Ling’s life will begin again when she relocates to Taiwan. For now, she lives a suspended existence near the Thai-Malaysian border, saving up for her departure. In desperation, she joins the nocturnal business of human trafficking, finding herself bearing witness to the inhumanity suffered by the Rohingya. When her façade of indifference slips, threatening the secrecy of the business, she goes on the run, accompanied by Wei, who believes that he knew Hui in a past life. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 25th, 2017 | Saturday | National Gallery Singapore | 2:00 pm

Trailer:

 

I want to go home by Wesley Leon Aroozoo – Singapore, Japan | 2017 – 60 min.

On March 11, 2011, Yasuo Takamatsu lost his wife in the tsunami during the Great East Japan earthquake. Since that fateful day, he has been diving in the sea every week in search for her. I Want To Go Home is a journey of one man’s determination to reunite with his wife and fulfill her final wish. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
December 2nd, 2017 | Saturday | National Museum of Singapore | 4:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Jailbreak by Jimmy Henderson – Cambodia | 2017 – 92 min.

Joining the ranks of extreme action cinema (with the likes of Ong Bak and The Raid) is Jailbreak, the first action film of its scale and kind shot in Cambodia. Working from a meager budget, the expertly crafted film is a phenomenal success back home and abroad, introducing the savage Cambodian martial artform Bokator to the world. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 25th, 2017 | Saturday | Filmgarde Bugis+ | 11:55 pm

Trailer:

 

Malila: The Farewell Flower by Anucha Boonyawatana – Thailand | 2017 – 94 min.

Former lovers Shane and Pich reunite and try to heal the wounds of their past. Shane is haunted by the tragic death of his daughter, while Pich suffers a grave illness. As death approaches, Pich dedicates his remaining time to making Bai Sri, a ceremonial ornament. Meanwhile, Shane decides to become a Buddhist monk until one night at a graveyard, he encounters his lover in another form. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 30th, 2017 | Thursday | Filmgrade Bugis+ | 9:30 pm

 

Oh Lucy! by Atsuko Hirayanagi – Japan, US | 2017 – 95 min.

Setsuko is a single, middle-aged office worker who finds no joy in her life. Her workday begins when she witnesses a suicide on her morning commute, and continues the day as she observes a retiring coworker being congratulated by two-faced colleagues. When she becomes the replacement for her niece, Mika, at an English lesson, Setsuko is charmed by the unconventional methods of the American teacher, John, who brandishes her with the new name, Lucy. Her brief happiness is cut short when she discovers that John is leaving for America with Mika, apparently his secret lover. With Mika’s postcard as her only clue, Setsuko/Lucy sets off for California with her sardonic sister Ayako – also Mika’s disapproving mother – to track the couple down. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 30th, 2017 | Thursday | Marina Bay Sands | 8:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Radiance by Naomi Kawase – Japan, France | 2017 – 101 min.

Introverted Misako pens and workshops film audio descriptions for the visually impaired. In a particularly brutal feedback session, a brusque photographer Nakamori, who is slowly losing his sight, challenges her competence. As she pushes back, the two slowly form a connection that heals and opens up a radiant universe that was once invisible. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 26th, 2017 | Shaw Theatres Lido | 2:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda by Stephen Nomura Schible – Japan, US | 2017 – 102 min.

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda is a documentary that accompanies the prolific composer in his everyday, during a time in his life when mortality has become more pronounced and fragile. As the documentary follows him through the early stages of creating a new work, it explores how the rhythms of old age, and an awareness of environmental and social issues, have shaped his way of musical expression. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
December 2nd, 2017 | Saturday | Shaw Theatres Lido | 7:00 pm

Trailer:

 

Samui Song by Pen-ek Ratanaruang – Thailand, Germany, Norway | 2017 | 108 min.

Viyada is an actress whose fame is built around playing bitchy sirens in prime-time television. In her personal life, she’s frustrated with having to play the good wife to Jerome, a believer of a bizarre religious cult. One day, she meets Guy, a slick drifter who proposes a radical solution that will free her from the unhappy marriage. The two strangers soon become accomplices in a crime that sets them up against violent, influential men. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 27th, 2017 | Monday | Shaw Theatres Lido | 9:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Shuttle Life by Tan Seng Kiat – Malaysia | 2017 – 90 min.

A young man, Qiang, lives with his six year-old sister and mentally disabled mother in a tiny flat. Their daily lives are marked by a perpetual struggle to make ends meet. When a tragic accident throws a spanner into the works, Qiang finds himself flailing against the machinery of bureaucracy and unassailable privilege, bringing into sharp focus the powerlessness of the underclass. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 28th, 2017 | Tuesday | The Arts House | 4:30 pm
December 1st, 2017 | Friday | National Museum of Singapore | 7:00 pm

Trailer:

 

The Great Buddha by Huang Hsin-yao – Taiwan | 2017 – 103 min.

Pickle is a night security guard at a Buddha statue factory owned by rich playboy Kevin. There, he is frequently visited by his best friend Belly Button, a recyclables collector, and together they endure the dull nightshift by watching television – until it gets broken one night. Hoping to find some drama, they stumble upon Kevin’s dashboard camera, where they find footages which contain their boss’ ugly secrets that will change their lives forever. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 27th, 2017 | Monday | The Arts House | 4:30 pm
December 2nd, 2017 | Saturday | Filmgarde Bugis+ | 2:00 pm

Trailer:

 

The Seen and Unseen by Kamila Andini – Indonesia | 2017 – 86 min.

In a rural hospital, 10 year-old Tantra lies unconscious, his brain weakened by an illness. He’s watched over by his parents and his twin sister Tantri, a girl who longs for the return of her brother. Every night, in that sliver between dream and wakefulness, Tantra arises from deep sleep to play with his sister – sometimes in the nocturnal field of Bali bathed in moon glow – at least until the sun comes up again. (SGIFF Catalogue)

Schedule:
November 24th, 2017 | Friday| The Arts House | 4:30 pm
November 30th, 2017 | Thursday | National Museum of Singapore | 9:30 pm

Trailer:

 

Zama by Lucrecia Martel – Argentina | 2017 – 115 min.

In the twilight of the 17th century, Don Diego de Zama is stuck in a crumbling South American outpost of the Spanish colony, toiling away in a bureaucracy that treats him as invisible. Unpaid for months and longing to reunite with his wife and child, Zama pins his hope on a transfer order that has yet to arrive from the King of Spain. In the melancholy inspired by tropical heat, he nurses his loneliness and lust by courting the wife of a local aristocrat and contemplating the ennui of colonial pursuits.

Schedule:
November 30th, 2017 | Thursday | Filmgrade Bugis+ | 7:00 pm

Trailer:

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