The Kallang Wave

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Director: Yanfeng Lee, Mohd Hanafi
Featured Interviews: Fandi Ahmad, Malek Awab, David Lee, Quah Kim Song, Godfrey Roberts, S Subramani, Jeffrey Low, P N Sivaji, Edwin Yeo
RunTime: 75 mins
Genre: Documentary
Rating: PG
Release Date: 19th April 2007

Local film productions need all the support they can.

2006 was a rewarding year for the local movie industry. But while many films such as the documentary Singapore Gaga reflect the local culture, the concern is that they cannot reach out to an international audience or the masses. The Kallang Wave falls into the same category.

The release of this documentary on soccer is timely with the demolition of the National Stadium, which represented pride and memories. We see the decline of the local teams as contrasted with the uprising popularity of the foreign premiere leagues. This is also paralleled with the modernization of Singapore’s society. Who exactly is at fault? Globalisation or the other 'G'?

Interviews are plentiful and highly opinioned. Local soccer fans would be familiar with names such as Fandi Ahmad, Malek Awab, Quah Kim Song, David Lee and commentators Jeffrey Low and Edwin Yeo. Indeed, it brought back many fond memories of the wave, spirit and cheers if you ever watched a match at the National Stadium then.

If you belong to the generation when 'ole ole' and ‘kelong’ (match mixing) were popularised, then you would have gained some insights into the rise and fall of the sport.

However, if you are clueless to local soccer, the movie would be very distant as well. Towards the middle, there were just too many talking heads that lacked focus and demanded full concentration from the audience. The clumsiness of first time filmmakers in dealing with scripting, editing and interviewing skills also showed. The voice over in a deliberate bid to sound 'Singaporean' lost its genuinity.

While The Kallang Wave is not a film about "society coming to grips with its place in a cold and unfamiliar new world" as described, it is a commendable effort to document this piece of history. Like Singapore’s soccer, our movie makers have a long way to go, but the progress has at least been promising.

The Kallang Wave - Commendable effort, slow performance

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