(Back to) First Takes!

White collars mingle with artists post-screening at First Takes

It's been a long time since I paid the folks at First Takes a visit. We have been partly missing out on the First Takes reviews because some of the films have already been reviewed by us. It is just amazing how First Takes continues to be that stage for new filmmakers to say 'at least we've got a public screening!' And of no judgement to the quality of films selected, First Takes also seems an important platform for certain films that have been subject-driven rather than craft-driven, for the post-screening Q & A also throws up useful dialogue and food for thought.



'Mi Fa So' was one such film. It is a documentary about a blind girl who finds her calling in music and playing the keyboard which she uses a colour code to recognise. Apparently, she can detect variations in light and some colours. She is the eldest of 3 daughters and the film had moments like her younger sisters saying how they try to help big sister that drew a smile on me. However, the film fits into what some would say a TV format - find a gripping topic, interview key players in the story and string them together in a classic 'all sides of the story' documentary, when sometimes, the documentarian would have done himself or herself a favour by asserting a point of view, rather than just presenting an observation. One might also argue the choice of the subject is part of the craft. This is where I must give credit to the filmmaker for finding a blind girl who has a hungrier feistier spirit that people around her. Interestingly, when she proclaimed 'I love you' to her mother in front of the camera, one wonders if she is being expressively herself or her condition has blinded her to the kind of social awkwardness many Asian display, being less comfortable with expressing their love in public, least of all in front of a rolling camera.

Find our earlier-written reviews of some of the other films screened at First Take November.
Homeless in the Heart
Balik Kampung


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Written by Jeremy Sing

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