Filmic Obsessive Repetitions, Dissociations, and Power Relations
Three films by the Singaporean director Daniel Hui are the focus of this chapter. These films experiment in the space between documentary and fictive documentary filmmaking in an effort to deal with authoritarian repetitions in the histories that Singaporeans narrate and in which they feel caught. The most recent film, Demons, is cast as a horror film, and explores the social dynamics and ethics of using the power of the film director (or political dictator) beyond what any given actor is comfortable with. Hui's earlier films Eclipses and Snakeskin explore artistic form, the labor of filmmaking, and question the artifice of film. Hui employs multiple points of view, sometimes fusing two or more films together, and keeps the sound disjunctive from what is seen. His films explore depression and grief, state surveillance and control, and the ethics of film.