Imagining film censorship in Singapore:The case of Sex.Violence.FamilyValues

Fong, Siao Yuong (2020) Imagining film censorship in Singapore:The case of Sex.Violence.FamilyValues. Asian Cinema, 31 (1). pp. 77-98. ISSN 1059-440X

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This article aims to rethink film censorship in Singapore by investigating how the agents involved in the Singapore Board of Film Censors imagine and represent its processes. Contrary to deterministic and structural approaches, I argue for the consideration of how specific events and practices articulate film censorship in Singapore in specific ways and how these, in turn, feed back into the process of censorship. Using the case study of Ken Kwek’s Sex.Violence.FamilyValues (2012), this article problematizes idealistic representations of the censorship system as an efficient machine made up of separate components with clearly defined functions. It finds instead that the complex agency based on contingent relations and identities make any form of overall structure in film censorship impossible. This inherent ambiguity of the censorship process has serious consequences for those involved in filmmaking and implications for our theoretical understandings of the so-called ‘Singapore New Wave’.

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Journal Article
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Asian Cinema
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28 Apr 2022 10:05
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:21