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7 Letters (2015)

An emotive anthology by seven of Singapore's most illustrious filmmakers, celebrating SG50 through the lives and stories of Singaporeans. Directed by Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, K. Rajagopal, Royston Tan, Tan Pin Pin, Boo Junfeng, Kelvin Tong.
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Faizal Abdullah ...
Cinema - Round Villager
Aric Hidir Amin ...
Cinema - Slim Villager
Fatin Amira ...
The Flame - Helper
...
Elle
Nickson Cheng ...
Pineapple Town - Kang
David Chua ...
Cinema - Fan Fan Law
Nadiah m Din ...
Cinema -The Actress
J.A. Halim ...
Parting - Ismail
...
GPS - Mother (as Hui Fang Hong)
Hamidah Jalil ...
Cinema - Older Actress
Brien Lee ...
That Girl - Ah Fa
Rianne Lee ...
Pineapple Town - Michelle (6 Years Old)
Poh Huat Lim ...
Cinema - Pontianak
...
Pineapple Town - Ning
Josmien Lum ...
That Girl - Ah Shun
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Storyline

An emotive anthology by seven of Singapore's most illustrious filmmakers, celebrating SG50 through the lives and stories of Singaporeans. Directed by Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, K. Rajagopal, Royston Tan, Tan Pin Pin, Boo Junfeng, Kelvin Tong.

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

24 July 2015 (Singapore)  »

Box Office

Budget:

SGD 3,100,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was selected as the Singaporean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards but it was not nominated. See more »

Soundtracks

Precious
Music by Serene Koong
Lyrics by Serene Koong
Performed by Serene Koong
Courtesy of GoodGirlMusic
Played during "Grandma Positioning System"
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User Reviews

 
One Sublime Collection of Films That Links the Past to the Present, and it Gives you a Blueprint for the Future
10 August 2015 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Memories are fickle little elusive entities. Most of the time they stay locked up within your secret heart but a single unassuming image, a long forgotten tune or even the feel of an object can unlock a treasure trove of memories that you never knew existed. Sitting in the Gallery Theatre of the National Museum on the auspicious day of 9th Aug, my wife and I were overwhelmed by a torrent of nostalgia as we 'read' 7 letters addressed to that secret heart in both of us.

7 Letters is an emotive anthology by seven of Singapore's most illustrious filmmakers, celebrating SG50 through the lives and stories of Singaporeans. The seven films are directed by Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, K. Rajagopal, Royston Tan, Tan Pin Pin, Boo Junfeng, Kelvin Tong.

Anthologies are always tricky affairs. In every single one I have seen, there are always hits and misses, usually more of the latter. Comparison is inevitable and the after-experience is inadvertently a mixed bag affair. The misses are always jarring and the hits tend to pull themselves so far away because it wants to disassociate with the rest. I am so pleasantly surprised that 7 Letters do not suffer the same fate. The stories may be diverse but a strong sense of home and what it means permeate into the membrane, and what we have here collectively is one sublime collection of films that links the past to the present, and it gives you a blueprint for the future.

Of course, we love some of the short films more than others. But every film resonated with me, just some more than others. The first film belongs to Eric Khoo and it is a terrific opener filled with uncanny images that you are not quite sure how they would fit into a larger tapestry. The languid images are scored to a forlorn Malay song which slowly showcase a film within a film structure and then it has the balls to shift outwards to a different perspective. This is a superb ode to filmmaking in Singapore in the 60s, the simple joy of enjoying these films and the people who painstakingly made it, not for money but for the art. I laughed so hard that my sides hurt and then my tears rolled so much my head hurt.

The baton was then passed to Jack Neo whose films I have stayed away since I Not Stupid (2002). Somehow I always know what I will see in his movies and the thought of going through two hours of overt politically correct social commentary doesn't go down my palate well. Neo totally surprised me with this tender, bittersweet and funny crowd-pleaser that hearkens back to the carefree kampong days and 'tikam tikam' is a word that spells absolute excitement. The ending, scored to an evergreen by Teresa Teng is so inspired and it made my heart swell and my eyes well with tears.

Another favourite of mine belongs to Royston Tan. Remember those times when front doors of HDB flats are left opened with no fear of robbers? How about those times when after recess we would squat by the drain to brush our teeth? For people like me who are born in the late 60s, these are memories of a time of simple living and trust among neighbours. I also enjoyed the final film by Kelvin Tong. This last one uses the setting of Ching Ming to tell a story of the importance of our past and may we never forsake them in current times.

Taken as a whole, all the films beat with the same heart. They are honest, sincere and don't play to the audience ostensively. The theme of Singapore as home treads strongly through all of them. There are funny ones and there are sad ones, just like our life experiences. One can't choose to only revel in the happy ones and sweep the sad ones under the carpet. Each gives context and breadth to the other. For a cinephile like me, I feel so deliriously proud of what have been achieved by these seven films because they are a celebration of our diversity in culture, religion and race and what it means to be a Singaporean in this little red dot. 7 Letters did more for me nationalistically than what the extravagant National Day Parade and the humongous fireworks display managed to do.


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