The Reunion Dinner

Its Lunar New Year time and everyone is rushing back for reunion dinner. I found this video by Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo Director) to be very poignant and a reminder to the values of how many Singaporeans have grown up with and should pass down through the generations

> The film tracks the protagonist’s life in his family through the motif of tradition – in this case, a family’s reunion dinner. The film spans 3 eras: the protagonist as a young boy, then a teenager, and finally a grown man (and a father). Beautifully-reconstructed sets are a sight to behold. The slightly-muted colours of the scenes in the 70’s and 80’s manage to simultaneously convey both the simplicity of its time, as well as the vibrancy of life then; juxtaposed against the piercingly-sharp colours of the scenes in the final act. Anthony Chen makes clear the progress and development Singapore has went through in the past decades and makes a strong statement on the sophistication of modern Singapore. He then uses this to drive home the message that Singapore’s outward appearances might have changed, and life might be radically-different now, but the tradition of the Chinese New Year reunion dinner, as well as the heart of the ritual -the importance of family – will and must endure


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