3rd Singapore Indie Doc Fest - 'Kampong Lorong Buangkok' by Sarina Md Rasol

Endangered Histories
Kampong Lorong Buangkok
2007/23 mins/Singapore/PG
Director: Sarina Md Rasol

If there is a chance for us to travel back in time, to a place that was much more peaceful and life was simpler, the time where we believe that money wasn’t as important but only to help us snatch up goodies (or pay rent), we would do that as an escapade – to be isolated and away from the hustle and bustle from the life we have now just so we could have our own private time. Time literally slowed down emulating the beating of our heart. People don’t suffer migraines that much back then.

This lorong amidst our cityscape hides a kampong that seemed to be in a time warp. Houses were made of wooden planks (not bricks) on what was once a swamp. The soil was soft. Chickens are reared and running about freely. A barrel that is made of clay sits at the foot of the door on every house, an amenity that helps to wash the feet before greeting into the house. A kampong house is indeed more spacious that what we live in now. Although it may not be as clean as HDB blocks, a kampong has it very own distinct uniqueness that surpasses everything else. How can one give up such a place when it is being build by their very own hands?

The truth is I wonder how the current residents would have to give up such a place of so much sentimental value to somewhere they might take awhile to get use to. For city folks like us, to live in a kampong is to sacrifice our need for entertainment like television, Internet and video games while in those days entertainment came in a form of gathering and having conversations with the neighbors (something we don’t usually do now with our own neighbors).

I was slightly taken aback by the awkward animated introduction of those interviewed in the documentary (as well as the short description that came along with it). It could have been done in a more eye-appealing way. But that aside, Sarina managed to capture the views of every age group, from the old to the younger generation. Despite the several hand held shots (that left me sea-sick for awhile), Kampong Lorong Buangkok takes us to a place where we never thought would still exists and managed to rekindle some of the lost atmosphere of a kampong village although some of the audience may not comprehend the sui generis of a village as they laughed at several parts of the show.

- Elfe
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