77min | Singapore/Indonesia | 2023 Three middle aged friends reunite for the first time in years. Each of them sets out to confess unexpressed feelings but their vacation takes a surprising turn when the undercurrent of their past lives threaten to resurface.
Original Title Hao jiu bu jian Year of production 2023 Length 77' Country Singapore/Indonesia Shooting Format Digital Aspect Ratio1:37:1 Dialogue Mandarin, English, Singlish Director Nelson Yeo Producers Si En Tan, Sophia Sim Production Momo Film Co Co-producer Yulia Evina Bhara Co-production Kawankawan Media, Widewall Pictures Screenwriter Nelson Yeo Cinematographer Lincoln Yeo Editor Armiliah Aripin Production Manager Wendy Lie Sound Design and Mixing Cheng Lijie Art Directors Lou Shenna, Mark Chua, Lam Li Shuen Costume Design Lou Shenna, Megan Lim Post Production Eugene Seah Casting Sophia Sim Cast Doreen Toh, Peter Yu, Kelvin Ho Festival selections Locarno Film Festival 2023, Switzerland - World Premiere, Pardo d'oro for Best Feature Film (Cineasti del Presente Competition), Swatch First Feature Award Tirana International Film Festival 2023, Albania - Best PerspecTIFF Film Award El Gouna Film Festival 2023, Egypt Website Momo Film Co
Directors' Statement The English title, Dreaming and Dying, derives from zuì shēng mèng sǐ, a Chinese idiom which means leading a befuddled life as if drunk or in a dream. The film explores the repressed emotions, desires and memories of three middle-aged friends who used to be really close in high school. When attending a school reunion in which no one else turned up, a long buried love triangle among them slowly resurfaces. Each of them longs for real human connection, but because of circumstances and societal restrictions then and now, they have never really confronted their repressed inner desires. This repercussion reverberates through the second half of the film when, two of the friends - the couple - set out on a day trip to fàng shēng (an old Buddhist tradition in which believers release fish into the wild to neutralise the karma they committed knowingly or unknowingly). The wife believes that this superstitious act will cure the husband of his illness. Lost in the jungle, they are haunted by their own memories and desires, which they believe is a result of their past karma rippling through time. With Dreaming & Dying, I am primarily interested in exploring how we choose to remember things in our own ways, and as time passes, those fantasies sometimes become realities; the idea that certain things, however meaningless, can take on their own meaning over time.