A 8-minute short film by Singaporean filmmaker Daniel Yam for the Community Chest has gone viral, even picking up a mention on the Huffington Post so far.
The film, titled “Gift”, is a story of the relationship between a father and son. The father, played by actor Michael Chua, is a garang-guni – or rag and bones collector, whom his son does not see as an inspirational or inspiring figure.
The pivotal part of the film is the scene when the son asks the father, “Why are we not rich?”
The father replied, “Who says we are not rich? Being rich is not about how much you have but how much you give.”
The son, apparently, did not understand or was not convinced. It was only years later, when he found some letters in his father’s home, that the true meaning of what his father meant came to light.
On his blog, Chua says, “Though I was exhausted and stretched by the broad range of emotions in this production, I really enjoy and treasure the experience. I am satisfied with the result as it tells a story that both entertain and inspire.”
He added, “The scenes at the old folks home and children’s home reminded me of my student days in the Polytechnic. Then, we visited and served the homes every weekend. It was also the time when I performed sobbing stories on stage to encourage freshmen to become volunteers to serve the underprivileged.
“Those were truly happy days. Happy, because we gave.”
Watch the film here:
Michael Chua was also involved in another short film, this time the 12-minute “Hentak Kaki”. He plays army Warrant Officer Lee Teck Hong who, at 38, had to decide is he should continue serving in the army or leave and find alternatives outside of the Army.
He knows that if he continues with the Army, his past physical injuries would limit his prospects. Assigned to be a military counsellor, his life takes a turn when he meets up with a detainee (played by Richard Muru) at the Detention Barracks.
“[There] must be millions of ‘Warrant Officer Lees’ all over the world,” Chua says on his blog, “having reached their point of career stagnation and fear the leaving of their comfort zones. This I believe, is a universal trait and a common situation for many people across national boundaries and cultures.”