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  Cycle index  
12 Lotus
dir. Royston Tan / Singapore 2008 / 121’
subtitles: Polish and English
Panorama
The Market Square

Cast

Yi Wu Qi, Mindee Ong, Ling Ling Liu, Yang Amy, Damus Lim, Yang Amy

Film description

Getai is a sort of an outdoor concert-performance shown during the festival of spirits in Singapore in the seventh month of the year according to the lunar calendar. This is a particular music show: performers wear bright, revue-style costumes and the stage is lit by strong and colourful, disco-like lamps.

12 Lotusby Royston Tan speaks about getai and uses its style. The film follows a story of a very young singer, Lotus, whose life and career are destroyed by cruel and greedy men. Harassed and mistreated by her father and then by her lover, Lotus closes up and becomes alienated from the world.Although each musical scene glitters with the colours of the rainbow, it is far from any carefreeness - the light show conceals drama and violence affecting the cheated Lotus.

It is not the first time when Tan refers to getai - his previous film, the very popular comedy 881 was a kind of homage to getai. In 12 Lotus the show is not the main character any more, it is rather an instrument which allowed Tan to disguise a tragedy in an ironical, shimmering and colourful costume, transforming it into a sad fairy tale. This sadness, the fairy tale style and visual aspects are the film's main strengths.

Karolina Kosińska

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The 9th festival's opening film will be The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band) directed by Michael Haneke, the winner of the Golden Palm in Cannes in 2009.

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