Reworking recently rediscovered lost 15-year old footage, NORTH SOUTH is a personal and political allegory of freedom and repression in Singapore. It draws an analogy between bipolar altered reality to life in a prosperous fascist regime. The bridge it was filmed on was a then newly-constructed link between the state university and an army officer camp.
NORTH SOUTH was an experiment in the expressiveness of form and rejection of over-determined Hollywood / social realist narrative taught in Singapore. Central to its structure and intent was the foregrounding of typically background elements (montage and music) to explore their expressive potential, as well as the audience’s projection of meaning and significance vs. telling them what to think.
The tape of NORTH SOUTH was one of the few possessions Stephen Chen had when he fled Singapore in 2001. It was lost while he lived in exile in North America until the degraded tape was rediscovered in 2013. Remastered and re-edited in 2013 upon rediscovery of the lost tape to convey the experience of exile, NORTH SOUTH utilizes footage originally shot on S-VHS in 1998, and has music that has been reframed and rerecorded for its 2013 incarnation. This reworking also marks the first time in over 12 years, that Stephen was able to talk freely about his experiences – a liberation that spawned INTER-MEZZO.
RUNNING TIME: 5’02” | COMPLETED: 02/13 | DIRECTOR: STEPHEN CHEN | DISTRIBUTOR: