Snakeskin

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    Snakeskin

    Directed by

    Singapore, Portugal

    2014

    105 min

    • English

    Documentary

    In 2066, a survivor of an enigmatic cult recounts his country’s traumatic history and the events leading to the rise and fall of the cult. Ghosts from 2014 and before appear as witnesses. Part dream documentary, part city symphony, this film traces the lineage of oppression as inscribed in Singapore’s landscape and collective unconscious.

    Awards

    • Special Jury Award - Torino FF
    • Special Mention (International Competition) - RIDM

    Festivals

    Credits

    Screenplay
    Daniel Hui
    Cinematography
    Daniel Hui
    Editing
    Daniel Hui

    Director's Statement

    Singapore has had a long history of civil disobedience, culminating in the 1950s. This history has been buried by the ruling party in Singapore, because it still reflects negatively on them. […] I was particularly interested in the cinema of this period because I found many parallels between its ideals and the ideals of activists and politicians at that time. Both wanted a racially-integrated society that is independent and no longer colonized. Unfortunately, Singapore’s history has only proven to be the opposite. Researching this history has been really saddening, because of all the lost opportunities and abandoned paths my country could have taken.

    Production
    13 LITTLE PICTURES
    Production
    PRIMEIRA IDADE

    Press

    In its unraveling narrative, this unusual, thoughtful evocation of time travel probes one of history’s most complex sites of colonialist intrigue.

    Travis Jeppesen, Art Forum

    [Snakeskin] acts to revise the history of the director’s homeland, Singapore, ambitiously rejoicing in the medium of film as a Chris Marker-esque agent of time travel and mythmaking, complete with a reincarnated cat.

    Justin Jaeckle, Art Review

    Snakeskin has a spirited soul... Its appeal is purely mysterious, elusive, able to penetrate into the subconscious of the viewers and deeply catch them.

    Raffaele Meale, Quinlan.it

    Daniel Hui’s ambitious but unpretentious film accepts the complexity of Singapore's past and its multiple strains of subjectivity.

    Giovanni Vimercati , Film Comment

    Daniel Hui

    Daniel Hui

    Singapore

    Filmmaking is about positioning myself in society, culture and history, and that means taking a step back to observe and listen to what goes on around me. It is through listening that I am able to see and understand things clearly.

    Born 1986 in Singapore, Daniel Hui is a filmmaker, writer and the founder of acclaimed independent film collective 13 Little Pictures. A graduate of the School of Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts (2009–2011), he makes short and feature-length works primarily on 16mm film. His last completed feature-length works include: ECLIPSES (2011), SNAKESKIN (2014) and DEMONS (2018). These films have been shown in film festivals such as the Torino FF (Special Jury Prize at the TFFDoc section for SNAKESKIN), the Yamagata IDFF (Award of Excellence at its New Asian Currents section for SNAKESKIN) and Doclisboa. Daniel Hui is a fellow in the framework of a cooperation of Akademie Schloss Solitude with FidLab Marseille. His last feature DEMONS premiered at Busan IFF.

    Selected Filmography