Hinterland, Heartland, Home

Alfian Bin Sa̓at

in Southeast Asian Independent Cinema

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9789888083602
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209114 | DOI:
Hinterland, Heartland, Home

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This essay focuses on the representations of an urban-rural dialectic in contemporary Singapore cinema, particularly in the films of Eric Khoo, Royston Tan’s “15” (2002), Kelvin Tong and Jasmine Ng’s “Eating Air” (1999) and Djinn’s “Perth” (2004), which negotiates the definition of a city vis-à-vis its antithesis: the country, or hinterland. It will explore how independent Singapore, devoid of a national hinterland, constructed a surrogate in the form of a ‘heartland’, a largely discursive incarnation which is interrogated in many contemporary Singaporean films.

Keywords: Southeast Asia; Independent Cinema; Singapore; Malaysia; Eric Khoo; Royston Tan; Djinn; Kelvin Tong; Jasmin Ng

Chapter.  8265 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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