How to Watch To Singapore, With Love
Latest Update: According to To Singapore, With Love’s official facebook page, they have not given permission for the film to be shown. Here is the statement in full.
We have have not agreed to any Singapore screenings, private or institutional. We have written to the news outlet to correct the article. Postscript: The Yale-NUS Professor Robin Hemley said that the article was a mistake.
This week, we found out that Tan Pin Pin’s latest film will not be shown in Singapore—the MDA classified the film as “Not allowed for all ratings,” much to the anger of the public.
The film will be shown today (19th September) at the Freedom Film Festival in Johor Bahru, but if you can’t make it, you can crash a lecture at Yale-NUS—the film will be screened on campus as part of a course on documentary films.
Yale-NUS President Pericles Lewis consulted the MDA prior to its screening, and received word that the government body had “no problems” with this idea at all. This comes as a pleasant surprise—doesn’t “not allowed for all ratings” mean that it should not be shown on this sunny island?
The Internet Reacts To The MDA’s Response
Word has gotten out on Facebook, with supporters looking forward to the screening:
Yet, a cynic has stated that this is all “wayang”, suggesting that this is only for publicity.
Since its conception, Yale-NUS has received criticism—the public has wondered if Singapore is ready for a liberal arts college, given the restrictions on freedom of speech and protests. Yet, Yale President Peter Salovey defended this ideal to freshman in August, stating that the campus is where “the principle of free expression of ideas is respected.”
So far, students do not feel that they have been impacted by state censorship, with student Zachary Mahon stating that Salman Rushdie’s banned book, The Satanic Verses, was made available to them on campus.
When Can We Watch To Singapore, With Love?
There is no word on when the screening will be held, but many people have already shown interest in watching the documentary. Cynicism aside, this small victory of screening Tan’s latest film will serve to educate the public on Singapore’s laws and its lost history, given its academic setting.
Getting past the censors is tough, and somehow, Yale-NUS has managed that—while many of us imagine a Singapore where books and movies and other media are not banned, this small move celebrates our local filmmakers and shows that there may be more room to showcase the stories of all Singaporeans.