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As is customary, the local fare on offer at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is linguistically and thematically diverse, reflecting the nature of the island city-state.
The opening film, Tan Bee Thiam’s “Tiong Bahru Social Club,” is presented in several languages, including English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Malay and Tamil. Inspired by Jacques Tati and Charlie Chaplin, the stylized satire follows a 30-year old millennial who stumbles across the eponymous club, an organization that aims to transform Singapore’s Tiong Bahru into the happiest neighborhood in the world.
While “Tiong Bahru Social Club” bowed at Busan in October, the rest of the local features are all world premieres.
In Biyun Tan’s irreverent Chinese, Hokkien, Teochew and English-language “Citizen Hustler,” a hawker seeks ways to access financial aid after the closure of the Sungei Road flea market.
Remi M. Sali’s English, Mandarin and Bahasa Melayu-language