Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.

The Straits Times

John Lui Film Correspondent and Boon Chan Media Correspondent recommend

Film Picks: Soufra



72 minutes

American documentary -maker Thomas A. Morgan, who is based in Singapore, was part of the team that made Waiting For Mamu (2013), a troubling portrait of children in Nepal who grow up in prison with their incarcerated parents because there is no one to care for them on the outside.

Soufra is Arabic for "feast" and in this inspiring work directed by Morgan, the spotlight falls on Mariam Shaar, a refugee who, with women from Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, launched a successful food truck business in a sprawling Lebanese refugee camp.

WHERE: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road MRT: Nicoll Highway WHEN:Various times ADMISSION: $13.50 INFO:

John Lui



The winner of the gold prize of the short film competition organised by streaming site Viddsee is the drama The Drum, by Singapore film-maker Ler Jiyuan.

In this drama, Kang (Wang Yuqing), a father in his 60s, faces a hard milestone in his life. Then an unlikely source of comfort appears.

The silver winner is the black comedy Such Is Life by Kaizer Thng, in which a new entrant to the undertaker industry takes lessons from a veteran of the death business.

The films, and other entries, can viewed online for free at

John Lui


137 minutes/ 4 stars

This film unfolds as a competent espionage thriller in the first two acts. The final 30 minutes elevate it to something more - a compelling tale of murky politics and unlikely friendships. The tension comes from the fraught atmosphere of mistrust and barely-kept-in-check hostility between North and South Korea. At any moment, masks could be ripped off and a gun could go off.

South Korean Park Seok-young (Hwang Jung-min) is recruited to spy on North Korea's nuclear programme in 1992 and his handler is the politically adroit Choi Hak-sung (Cho Jin-woong). Park is tasked to make contact with official Ri Myung Woon (Lee Sung-min), one of the few people with access to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (Gi Ju-bong). The film is loosely based on the true story of Park Chae-seo, a South Korean agent who infiltrated the North's nuclear facilities.

Boon Chan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2018, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe


Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.