Young filmmakers take an honest look at different religions in Singapore

4 June 2016 / 4 months 3 weeks ago

June 3, 2016

A group of young filmmakers embarked on a journey to understand each other's religions and beliefs, resulting in an honest look at the relationship between Singaporeans and their faith.

For their final year project in 2014, a team of film students from Nanyang Technological University's School of Art, Design and Media, produced a 24-minute-long documentary film titled "The Longest-distance Relationship".

Lee Sin Yee, director; Tan Wei Ling, producer; Lim Zhee Yen, director of photography; and Lau Xiang Ying; sound/editor, are Buddhist, Atheist, Christian, and Taoist respectively.

In the film, the four young women visit places of worship to learn the meaning behind practices such as praying and meditation.

At a temple, a seemingly simple question - 'Why is Confucius, a human, worshipped in the temple?' - stumped the staff and resident monk.

Through interviews with followers of different faiths, they were also surprised by revelations brought on by some of their interviewees.

In their interview with a Christian, the team was visibly affected by a question he asked that sounded harsh to non-believers.

The quartet also looked at their own faiths and candidly discussed what they thought about religion with their families as well as with each other.

One of them shared: "When I pray for my brother, I'll think of Jesus. I don't know if it's because he's in a church-affiliated school."

"I'll associate my father with God of Wealth because he always buys 4D. Goddess of Mercy, you take care of my mother," she added.

The group also mused on the existence of divine beings and how they would feel if they were to learn that 'there is no God'.

In a country with diverse faiths, the documentary will probably resonate with the local audience who may be curious about different beliefs.

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