Thursday, August 09, 2007

Nation Builders - A new video by Martyn See

The wealth generated by Singapore's much-touted economic success story has not benefited everyone, least of all its senior citizens, a.k.a. the nation builders. Filmed on the streets and back-alleys of downtown Singapore in July 2007, this video does not contain any enactments or acting. Directed, shot and edited by Martyn See. Running time : 14 minutes.



Link to google video.

Martyn See's previous works, 'Singapore Rebel' and 'Zahari's 17 Years' are banned by the Singapore Government for their political content. The former was also the subject of a 15 month-long police investigation for alleged violation of the Films Act. Both films, however, are freely available for viewing on google video. See has gone on to make 'Speakers Cornered', which has yet to be submitted to the local censors. 'Nation Builders is his fourth video and the first to be made available on the web by the director himself. So far, the Singapore authorities has not sought any orders to have locally-banned videos removed from the internet.

25 comments:

Marc said...

Thank you for speaking out for those who have no voice to speak out.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done and an accomplished video. We need such sober videos to counter balance the mindless propaganda by the mainstream media on National Day.

Andrew said...

Hi Martyn,

Thanks for making this film.

Andrew

Anonymous said...

Excellent! And heart-wrenching!

DOM the clown said...

Bro,

Well done! Keep up with the good work, but do remember to go for classes at Geylang Lorong 25A

Cheers!
DOM

teabie said...

i feel silly with myself for not contributing much to them when i was in s'pore. i really hope something can be done to help them. i'm sure our nation is equipped to do so, and yet... sigh. thanks for the video. it's so simple and yet so striking.

Razlan said...

Martyn,

I applaud you for this film. It certainly strike a chord with me. I vow to do what I can to help, in little ways... giving what I can to these old folks, buying tissues from them...

It might not be much for us, but it might mean the world to them.

The old lady whom said "old folks do this to while away time... if got earn, can buy durian"

Such simple joy, so much hard work, at their age.

It breaks my heart.

mr.udders said...

I'm wondering if you paid the uncle for providing the soundtrack to your film?

If not you'd just be exploiting him as well, right?

Elljay said...

well done, well done.
i remember the second song... it's a classic, isn't it? the guy got applause at the end... it's a beautiful song.

Anonymous said...

how about adding in the scenes where old homeless people go to hawker centres to eat others leftover's that will really hit a raw nerve!

Anonymous said...

I just wonder what those greedy, hypocrite & senseless bastards (MIW) have to say now.

Are they also going to ban this politically challenged video ?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Martyn. Your film almost moved me to tears.

Please continue to show your care to those who are weak and helpless.

Anonymous said...

hi Martyn,
thanks for the vidoe,,nicely done,
just like to mention that the shot at tanjong pagar was priceless.

Anonymous said...

Love the last shot of LKY poster and the old man... It totally brings the kick out of the whole scene.... I hope everyone who watches this video will spread the URL to all your friends and family to watch it because i will do so...

Cheers

Anonymous said...

the vid is removed from google. any other way to watch the vid?

Johnny Malkavian said...

Thank you Martyn,

The video was very humbling.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!!
loved the closing sequences - billboard of Sg founder and Sg's builder struggling in the foreground.

Well done.

Anonymous said...

well done! always great to see another corner of singapore that is neglected. i have no intention to spill "cold water" here. but i have a different perspective on this issue as well.

Remember one of the auntie mentioned that its what old people do to pass time? she can buy some durians from the extra cash. Some of these are genuinely poor old people. on the other hand, there are some who may not need the money. they come from an era whereby working is their life & everything. they don't know what else they can do upon retiring. Such activities become their "leisure". i know of an old man who actually lives in a bunglow with gardens & collect junks.

I believe all society break into different tiers. it is inevitable that some are living more humbly than others. however, we do not have to constantly see it under the microscope of dim light.

while singapore still lacks the system of sorting out our rubbish into recyclable ones, i see many of these old folks giving a helping hand in this area.

my father is at the age whereby he can retrieve most of his cpf and within a year, he happily spent all of it on nonsensical items. he has no bank account and doesn't bother to save up as he knows we will take care of him. although it may not make sense that we can't freely use our cpf, this system can come in handy for some less foresight individuals.

finally, i rather the government not "take care" of these people. because their way of doing it is to put them in homes & they don't have the choice of living the way of life they prefer. i have a homeless uncle who rec' this treatment.

its always tricky...there is always 2 side to a coin.

Derrick said...

How much did you pay the Uncle for doing the soundtrack for you? It is the only good thing in this film.

joel said...

Hi Martyn,

Thanks for creating this film. It is really moving

Anonymous said...

bravo!

Anonymous said...

Martyn

Just want to record my thanks on the film you made. I was moved to tears knowing that a society is defined by what we do for the most unfortunate amongst us. Singapore has "gained" so much over the years and yet losing such a BIG part of its soul does not seem to bother anyone.
How painful it is to see an old lady the same age as my mom going from table to table collecting the empty cans.
Singapore aspire to be best in all things and yet we are not able to take care of these old folks.

RT1099 said...

Maybe this short film can help to touch some of the hearts of the 66.6%

london builder said...

Wow, I was in Singapore in 2006 and never saw anything like it... I suppose I spent too much time on Orchard Avenue (or road) where all the computer shops were. Then too busy eating all those crabs.

It's strange how governments hide that sort of thing away from tourists.

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