Oscar Nominee: Shirkers

Shirkers is an oscar-nominated documentary by Sandi Tan, also called a love-letter to 90s Singapore. It features a strange story of theft. Via the Guardian:

Shirkers is about a kidnapping. A strange kidnapping. One in which the precious cargo held hostage isn’t a person, but a film.

The Sundance award-winning documentary tells the story of Los Angeles-based, Singapore-born film-maker Sandi Tan, whose first feature, made when she was still a teenager, was stolen before it could be completed. Twenty years later, when she was miraculously reunited with the unseen footage, Tan decided to return to Singapore and revisit the making – and losing – of the film that haunted her for decades.

The resulting documentary is a collage of interviews with the people who worked on the project, footage from the original film, and letters, drawings and photos from Tan’s youth. It’s an annotated love letter to the people and places she left behind. After it premiered at Sundance in January, the New Yorker described it as “an exemplary work of counter-lives and alternative histories, intimate self-portraiture and cultural reconstruction, hard-won empathy and painful reconciliation”.

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