Filament 08 relit - Love, Your Son

I was glad the use of foreign language here was with good cause. This film is entirely narrated through the Thai language because the character is a foreign worker in Singapore from Thailand. Hence, the social relevance to us as well a the opportunity of a peek into another world.

Love, Your Son is about a worker who writes letters back to his mother in Thailand. He is struggling with life and adjustment here and misses her terribly. The first letter cleverly draws a parallel between his homeland and Singapore through an account of his visit to the zoo. He talks about the innocence beauty of the animals and visually only showing the elephants, which are coincidentally emblematic of Thailand, like it was the common thread between Singapore and Thailand. And they were evocatively shot as well.

Then as each letter progresses, the tone becomes more desperate and regretful, driving you to want to find out more about what is actually wrong with his life. And there is also a mention of his mother's illness. While the shots of the letter writing were gracefully and intimately captured, Natalie (the director) wisely varied the visual fabric with flashbacks and anecdotal scenes. And these anecdotes were patiently paced, offering moments of contemplative details and close ups that sensitive our journey with the protagonist. I am particularly drawn by the shot in the toilet where he swallows what looks like something of soap/detergent content in a suicide attempt.

His mother, the object of his longings, never really appears upfront but exists more spiritually. We hear her benign voice and see her bed-ridden in a darkly-lit room. Which I feel serves the storytelling focus well as well because these are all but his faint and desperate memories.

Finally, if I am correct in my interpretation of the story. When he was writing the letters, he was also awaiting an arrest due to a unspoken crime. Hence, the `new' job and the `new' place he was writing to his mother about was really his conviction in jail, which maybe explains the final scene in which he was dragged out of a room by 2 policemen. (And I loved the way the camera tracked out at the end). Returning to the idea of migration, I felt his last letter was very poignantly written. Even if it was not a confinement that he was entering, the precariousness he faces simply hits home the underlying transience of comfort these migrants would feel in a foreign land.

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