1965: The Beginning ... of social-political thrillers, but not political films?!


Will this social-political thriller--but NOT a political film--be a success? I am looking forwards to finding out more about this movie, "1965: The Beginning".

Based on and inspired by Lee Kuan Yew’s struggle for the independence of Singapore, 1965 is a political thriller focused on 90 tumultuous days in the year 1965, when racial and ideological differences saw violent clashes on the streets of Singapore, while political intrigue and conspiracy led to power struggles in the
City Hall.

In the same vein as the Western political thrillers such as THE QUEEN and FROST/NIXON, this film has an Asian team of producers, writers and researchers attached to create an intense and compelling narrative of a South East Asian political drama never told on the big screen.

From HOMERUN Asia, "1965".

An upcoming social-political thriller, which is set against the backdrop of a defining moment in Singapore's history and featuring a young Mr Lee Kuan Yew as one of its characters, is "not a political film", said its executive producer, Mr Daniel Yun.

Neither has the film, 1965, The Beginning, been endorsed or sanctioned by the Government, Mr Lee's office or the Lee family, said Mr Yun, who is also the chief executive officer of Homerun Asia.

The Singapore company is co-producing the movie with China's Zonbo Media under the Co-production Agreement signed between Singapore and China last year.

The movie - which has generated much interest - aims for an August 2012 release.

Mr Yun said he is not worried about any possible conflicts. "I personally have faith in MDA (Media Development Authority) that they will look at this film as they would any other commercial film," he told Today.

" ... If there is any interference, it won't be the 'interference' people might think it is. Because we're not re-writing history. We're looking at documented facts. And the spine of the film is really about the small moments of the characters and how their lives have changed. So if there might be any interference, it may be other things that in any other movie we would also face.

"I personally don't think there would be interference in relation to, for example, our portrayal of Mr Lee Kuan Yew," Mr Yun added.

When contacted, the MDA said the film will be classified when it is submitted to them.

The movie centres around a multi-threaded plot structure that examines the themes of home and identity through a defining moment in a young nation's history - 1965 was the year when Singapore became independent following separation from Malaysia.

The movie will be shot in Singapore, Malaysia and China with a budget of US$5 million (S$6 million).

"When I was writing the Lee Kuan Yew character, the only person I had in mind was Mr Lee Kuan Yew", 1965's writer-director Lee Thean-jeen told Today.

"Because as a personality, he has a such a presence all on his own," he said.

So, is it true what the grapevine is saying - that Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung will be playing the young Lee Kuan Yew?

The film-makers are neither confirming nor denying it.

"I really wouldn't pass up the chance to work with Tony Leung," Mr Lee Thean-jeen said.

"But at the end of the day, I think we'll be casting whoever is most suited for the role. Without prejudice to the actor being Singaporean or not," he added.

From Today, "'1965 not a political film'".


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